The Falcons and Eagles open the season in a matchup of new regimes as the Falcons hired a new head coach and general manager while the Eagles hired a new head coach. Both organizations haven’t been consistently successful since their respective Super Bowl runs, evident in the betting odds and lines.
The Falcons are 3.5-point favorites on most betting sites and the over/under has been set at 47.5. At first glance, the Falcons should run away with this on paper and certainly have a higher ceiling this season with Arthur Smith at the helm. But what is the public betting? According to Action Network, 53% of the total bets are on the Falcons, while 63% of the public bet over 47.5.
I’ve always found fading the public is the best course of action if you’re looking for easy winners. The public seems split on the spread, but there is a clear discrepancy in what they believe the total will be. Personally, even though this is against my better judgment, I think the play is the over. With such underwhelming personnel on both defenses and two offensive-minded head coaches, I think the points will be plentiful.
Matt Ryan and Arthur Smith definitely have a better chance at putting up their share of the points than Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, but I believe the former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback’s dual-threat ability will give Philly a fighting chance. The pros, however, are taking a bit of a different approach: Doug Greenberg of the Action Network
There’s little doubt that the Falcons are a great first-half team after they averaged 13.9 points per first half in 2020, 10th-best in the league. The one thing that remains to be seen is if they can exorcise their demons from the second half of football games. A new head coach, in theory, will help that, but the feeling of constantly blowing games sticks with a team.
You’re also getting the security of a halftime lead of three points, as opposed to the scarier number you’re taking for them to win by at game’s end of -3.5. Bank on them to come out hot to start the season.
Pick: Falcons 1st Half -2.5 (-115)