I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: Good teams win, great teams cover. And there might not be a team that embodies that saying more than the Atlanta Falcons.
After realizing how much money was to be made in the gambling sector, the NFL quickly shifted its focus to plastering odds and predictions on every facet of its product. Whether it’s midweek, pregame, postgame, or halftime, the league is shoveling gambling content down viewers’ throats. And I love it.
Falcons fans should love it too. Atlanta is now the most profitable team in the NFL against the spread, covering in four straight games. Let’s run through how we got here.
In the season opener, the team opened as 3.5-point underdogs to the Saints, but the public was enamored with New Orleans and quickly bet that line up to 5.5 points. I loved that line, especially in an opener, where anything can happen. We all know how that one turned out — the Falcons easily covered and should’ve won outright.
In Week 2, the Falcons were even bigger underdogs against the Rams, who opened as 10.5-point favorites in Los Angeles. The defending Super Bowl champions were coming off an embarrassment on national television in the league’s season opener, in which the Bills beat the Rams down. LA had a significant rest advantage (10 days), and Atlanta had to travel across the country. To begin the game, it looked like it too. The Rams quickly jumped out to a 28-3 lead (sigh), but the Feisty Falcons fought back to cover.
The following week, the Falcons stayed on the west coast and practiced at the University of Washington facility in preparation for the Seahawks. Seattle opened as 1.5-point home favorites at Lumen Field, Home of the 12th Man. Sometimes in the NFL, it’s not about who you play but when you play them, and Atlanta was in a difficult spot. They had to stay out on the west coast instead of wasting time flying across the country in back-to-back weeks. But oddsmakers saw the Falcons as the better team on a neutral field, and it looked like it. Neither defense showed up, but Grady Jarrett and Richie Grant sealed the win with a third-down sack and fourth-down interception, giving the Falcons their third cover of the season.
And last week, nobody thought the Falcons could beat the Browns and their vaunted rushing attack. Cleveland opened as 2.5-point road favorites, but I still wasn’t fazed. I was riding with the Birds. For a second straight week, Atlanta’s offense put up 200+ yards on the ground, and once again, the defense came through with a game-sealing interception. This time it was Dee Alford.
The over has also hit in three of the four games this season as the Falcons travel south to challenge the defending division champion Buccaneers, who opened as heavy favorites. Atlanta opened as 8.5-point underdogs, but the public has quickly bet that all the way up to 10 points on specific betting sites.
I LOVE THAT LINE. Two scores? This scrappy Falcons bunch might not win this one, but they’ll undoubtedly fight. I would lay the points and even sprinkle some money line. The public just sees the Falcons as the same team as always and sees the Bucs as a far superior team. I’ll be interested to see if Atlanta can cover for a fifth-straight game!