The Falcons are one of two winless teams in the NFC and will aim to earn their first victory this Sunday against the Seahawks in Seattle, who are 1-1 entering Week 3. Atlanta put up 24 second-half points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Los Angeles this past Sunday. The Geno Smith-led Seahawks were on cloud nine following their season-opening win against the Russell Wilson-led Broncos but were welcomed back to reality in Week 2 following a 27-7 loss to the 49ers. Both clubs are projected to select at the top of the 2023 draft, so how does Vegas think these teams stack up?
All NFL betting lines and odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Seahawks enter as slight favorites at Lumen Field; the “Home of the 12th Man” has been notoriously difficult for opposing teams to visit, but oddsmakers see the Falcons as the better team on a neutral field. And rightfully so, Seattle managed only 36 yards on the ground last week against San Francisco. Pete Carroll’s offense looked terrible.
The Falcons put up a respectable number of points last week but had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. For the most part, the offense struggled to move the ball on the Rams’ defense, which is probably why this matchup features one of the lower projected point totals on the Week 3 slate.
If you’ve been following this weekly piece, you know I’m 2-0 when it comes to picking Falcons games. Atlanta is 2-0 against the spread this season, covering against the Saints as 5.5-point underdogs and Rams as 10-point underdogs. Once again, the Falcons are dogs… You know where my money will be.
Many bettors will turn to Seattle’s Week 1 surprise victory over the Broncos as a reason to go with the home favorites, but I think Denver is a dumpster fire with Nathaniel Hackett at the helm. The Broncos are worse than people think. Although that win is impressive in a vacuum, when looking at the entire landscape of the NFL, it isn’t. The Broncos struggled once again in Week 2 against a terrible Texans team.
On the other hand, the Falcons lost two close games to playoff-caliber teams. Last year, the Falcons were being blown out in these affairs; there’s something different in the water this season. Using the eye test, the Falcons are the better team to me. They’ve shown grit and perseverance and, believe it or not, have more playmakers on the roster.
Drake London leads the team with 160 receiving yards on just 13 receptions, including a touchdown. And Cordarrelle Patterson has picked up right where he left off last year, averaging 5.0 yards per carry in 2022. Kyle Pitts has yet to really have his breakout game this season, and there’s no better time to do it than on the road in a hostile environment.
Atlanta is desperately seeking their first victory as Marcus Mariota has come up short in both matchups. The team seems right on the cusp of putting it all together. This is a game I believe the Falcons and Mariota have to win.
Bet: Falcons Moneyline (+108)
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire