Atlanta Falcons (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Sunday, September 10th, 1:00pm
Where: Soldier Field - Chicago, IL
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL -7 / CHI +7
Over/Under Total: 49
As a lifelong Atlanta Falcons fan….going on 39 years now, it seems just like yesterday I was sitting in a bar in Suwanee, Georgia in total disbelief of the Super Bowl we had just blown to the New England Patriots. For two weeks I could not even turn on ESPN or listen to sports talk radio, I was sick! With that being said, here we are…NFL IS BACK and there are 32 teams who want to get to that final game in February. Some have a shot, some don’t but regardless, it is going to be one hell of a 2017 season.
The Atlanta Falcons will head into Soldier Field to take on the Bears in week one. The Falcons are favored by a touchdown on the road and the total points are set at 49 points combined. As of Tuesday night, the amount of money on the Dirty Birds by the bettors was astounding. 71% of the action was on the Falcons to cover against the Bears while 56% of the dough was on the over 49 points.
The Falcons are heading into 2017 with high expectations. A new stadium, the reigning league MVP at quarterback, and the return of one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses of all time. However, this is the NFL and repeating is not easy. The scheduling, the inner division rivalries, injuries, and just straight up being in the NFL can cause the most hyped teams to crumble. Atlanta wants nothing more than to return to the Super Bowl but no losing Super Bowl team has made it back the following year since the Buffalo Bills of the 1990’s. I am not saying Atlanta cannot do it but the odds are very much against them.
On paper, the Atlanta Falcons are the most complete team in the NFL. Dan Quinn has revamped the defense into one of the fastest and aggressive in all of the NFL. The Falcons are looking more and more like Quinn’s Seahawks teams looked in the last few years. If Atlanta can have even just a part of the offensive success they had in 2016 and have a defense that can crack the top ten of the league, this could be a very dangerous team down the stretch. The key against Chicago will be just that, the defense. The Bears have question marks at quarterback. Many think the Bears need to go ahead and throw rookie, Mitch Trubiksy into the starting role but the coaches think otherwise, it will be veteran Mike Glennon who will be taking the snaps against Atlanta the opening week. The Falcons defense needs to stop the run game and make Glennon have to beat them with his arm. If they can do this, I like the DBs of the Falcons to make plays and put the offense in some good spots.
The Falcons have not missed a beat on offense. Everyone is back and from what I am hearing many of the guys worked together all offseason in order to get even more chemistry heading into 2017. Realistically this offense more than likely will not match what they did in 2016, it was one of the top ten offenses of ALL TIME. It is crazy to think they can do this again, but with a better defense they will not have to. In order for the Bears to stay in this game and to have a shot to win, they must slow down the Falcons offense. Easier said than done but it is crucial if they want to start the season 1-0 against the defending NFC Champs.
As much as I like the Falcons, in the NFL, touchdown favorites on the road are tough to bet on. Over 70% of NFL games are decided by four points or less dating back to 2010. It is always just the better bet to take the underdog, especially at home in games like this. Although I think the Falcons get an easy win, I am still going to roll with the Bears +7. I think Atlanta gets a 30 to 24 type win in Soldier Field.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE CHICAGO BEARS +7 AND OVER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 49 POINTS. Bet your Falcons/Bears pick using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 100% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.