The Falcons win total over/under has been set at 7.5 wins by most betting sites, including Fox Bet and BetMGM. This comes after every potential juncture that could’ve swayed Atlanta’s win total in either direction — free agency, draft, and schedule release. The Falcons have the same win total as the Panthers; the Saints’ total is set at 9.5, and the Buccanneers 11.5 over/under win total leads the NFC South.
Breaking down the odds for the Falcons 7.5 wins is interesting because you can see which side Vegas favors, eluding to what is more probable to happen. According to the BetMGM lines, the Falcons are favorites to win seven games or less at -143 odds, which is 58.85% implied odds. At the same time, the over is set at +120, which is 45.45% implied odds.
According to the FoxBet lines, Atlanta stands as -125 favorites to finish with seven wins or less, which are 55.56% implied odds, and -105 underdogs to finish with eight wins or more — 51.22% implied odds. Essentially, MGM Resorts owns the online sports gambling facet BetMGM, and as a $20 billion Las Vegas casino heavyweight, they can put out better odds because they can cover the liability.
After going 2-8 in one-score games last year, the Falcons are certainly in line for some positive regression. Winning in the NFL is a culture, and once a franchise establishes systems that enable consistent winning, they usually come out on top of those one-score games. Likewise, organizations that perpetuate losing usually aren’t receivers of favorable outcomes.
Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot aren’t losers; in fact, they’re quite the opposite. “How you do anything is how you do everything” is a quote Fontenot has continually used throughout the offseason, describing the new culture in Atlanta perfectly. I do think there will be growing pains on the offensive side of the ball, but there is enough firepower at Matt Ryan and Smith’s disposal that I would be shocked if the group didn’t finish in the top ten in points scored.
Dean Pees is a serious upgrade over Dan Quinn, Raheem Morris, and Jeff Ulbrich. He’s succeeded everywhere he’s been, usually with less than ideal personnel afforded to him. Pees can turn lemons into lemonade by deploying his players in various defensive fronts and coverages that accentuate what they do well that can be adjusted week to week. The Falcons have the ingredients for a top-five offense, and if Pees can field an even average defense, Atlanta will finish second in the division and hit the over on 7.5 wins — I decree it.