Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview, Odds and Prediction
Date: Sunday, September 12, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
TV Network: FOX
Atlanta Falcons Record: 0-0
Philadelphia Eagles Record: 0-0
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds Preview
This matchup represents a battle of last place teams looking for a renaissance within their respective divisions in 2021, all the while debuting new head coaches at the helm and significantly altered rosters.
Early Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons odds corner this game with the hosts across multiple sports betting platforms. The Falcons are unanimously tipped at around -175 odds on the money-line and as the 3.5 home chalk on the point spread.
What’s most interesting about this matchup though is a) the NFL line has shifted by no more than half-a-point since opening on -3 with DraftKings; and b) the public appears to be wholly invested in the Falcons, with early consensus betting reports angling this game towards the Falcons. What these observations lead to is one important question, which is: does the public have it right?
Whether the Falcons are the smart bet or whether there is value with the Eagles that’s being overlooked in this much-anticipated Week 1 NFC showdown is the subject of this NFL betting preview. Below, these questions are covered before a final verdict is delivered and a free recommended pick is offered.
Philadelphia Eagles Betting Odds and Overview
Newly appointed head coach Nick Sirianni’s mandate in 2021 is to turnaround a franchise that hit rock-bottom last season after limping to a 4-11-1 record and fourth place in the NFC East. The disappointing campaign prompted wholesale changes across the board, but mainly the departure of Carson Wentz (trade to Indianapolis) and the sacking of former Super Bowl winning head coach Doug Pederson caused quite the splash.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts is the chosen starter….for now. The second-year signal-caller played a handful of games towards the tail-end of the season, but he went 1-4 SU in his five starts. How Hurts adapts to Sirianni’s new offense will determine how long he keeps the starting job. The offense is better suited to Hurts’ skillset, particularly on the ground. And yet, he does have competition just over his shoulder, with backups Joe Flacco and Gardiner Minshew (recent addition) waiting in the wings. Both ready to take a crack if the leash is short on Hurts.
The Eagles bolstered their offense in the offseason by boosting the receiving corps with rookie wide receiver Devonta Smith and they shored up the backfield and rebuilt the defense. The hope in Philadelphia is that all the additions will lead to a more explosive offense and reliable defense. To look at the NFL odds though, is to feel less than optimistic. Books tip Eagles Odds at +500, making them the longshots to win the NFC East.
Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds and Overview
Newly appointed head coach Arthur Smith’s mandate in 2021 is to resurrect the Falcons in the NFC South after several years of flattering to deceive. The Falcons got off to a woeful 0-5 start that prompted the sacking of former head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff midseason. Raheem Morris took over as the interim head coach, but the Falcons were able to only win four of their last 11 games as they finished with a 4-12-0 record and fourth place in NFC South.
The Falcons brought in former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to lead the Falcons makeover. The biggest change to the Falcons of old, arguably, was the departure of veteran wideout Julio Jones. The Falcons still have WR Calvin Ridley and counter the loss of Jones with some exciting young talent, including their top draft pick TE Kyle Pitts.
Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan is a polarising figure amongst bettors. On one hand, he litters the stats sheet with dizzying numbers. On the other hand, he comes up short at the time of asking more often than not. Once upon a time, he was nicknamed Matty Ice for his clutch plays, but those have been few and far in between over the last few years. In many ways, this season is likely to determine Ryan’s future with the Falcons, so the onus is going to be on him and how well he performs.
Atlanta Falcons Odds aren’t encouraging in the context of the NFC South. Priced at +900 to win the division, the Falcons are a distant third-best bet after the Buccaneers (-200) and the Saints (+300).
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons Odds
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction and Betting Preview
It’s impossible to know for certain what to expect from the Eagles or the Falcons in 2021, given all the changes that were made during the offseason things could go either way for these franchises as they look for redemption.
Hurts has very little NFL experience, but a lot of expectation is being placed on his inexperienced shoulders. Knowing he has the backing of the head coach, along with an offense tailored to his skillset, should see Hurts enjoy more success than he did in the five games he started last season. A lot will depend on ball security too. Turnovers killed the Eagles last season, so if that becomes a problem again, things will likely go south quickly.
Opening the season against the Atlanta Falcons isn’t a daunting prospect. That’s largely why the Eagles are catching merely 3.5 points, which means that only a half-point would separate the Eagles and Falcons if they were playing on neutral ground. That has to give the Eagles a measure of optimism. Even confidence to give the Falcons a run for their money.
One of the more favourable matchups will likely be the Eagles offense vs. the Falcons defense. Atlanta finished 28th in total defense last season, making it one of the worst units in the league. For the Eagles to defy the NFL odds, they’ll have to make substantial gains against the Falcons D.
Having said all of that, betting on the Eagles is a bet on a total unknown. With the Falcons, there’s some constants to hang one’s hat on, namely Matt Ryan. To compare the offenses therefore – apples to apples, so to speak – the scale tips towards the hosts conspicuously.
Ryan is a seasoned veteran with a ton of experience. Granted the pressure is on him to perform this season, but he has enviable weapons to help him lift the Falcons back to respectability. The Eagles defense may be better this season, but in the first game of the season those improvements might not register fully and the Falcons offense could exploit that readily.
So, how to bet Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons Odds? The hook is a bit bothersome, raising the spread by half-a-point on the wrong side of a field goal. But it’s not enough of a deterrent to suggest the Eagles are the better bet to cover.
NFL Pick: Falcons -3.5