Coming into Week 1, both the Falcons (4-12 in 2020) and Eagles (4-11-1) are coming off disappointing seasons, which resulted in both teams hiring new coaches.
The Falcons hired Arthur Smith, who had been the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator the past two seasons. Smith is known for his balanced offensive attack with both rushing and passing. On the other hand, the Eagles hired Nick Sirianni, who served as the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator over the past three seasons.
In this part of the NFL pick of the day series, we’ll be breaking down what should be an entertaining matchup between the Falcons and Eagles.
Best Bet: Falcons -3.5 (-110) at BetMGM
For in-depth analysis on this NFL bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles Prediction
Atlanta’s offense was average at best in 2020, leading to the franchise signing free agent running back Mike Davis from the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons also drafted tight end Kyle Pitts and traded star veteran receiver Julio Jones during the offseason. Atlanta came in at No. 27 in rushing yards in 2020, so Davis should give them the balance that Arthur Smith is looking for.
As for Philadelphia, their struggles on offense last year were the biggest reason why Sirianni was brought in. The team has also moved on from Carson Wentz, leaving the QB reins in the hands of Jalen Hurts.
Hurts will be able overcome a lot with his rushing ability, but the Eagles’ overall lack of offensive weapons — especially at wide receiver — is concerning. They were dead-last in net passing yards per attempt and near the bottom in 3rd down conversions, interceptions, and turnovers in 2020.
Atlanta’s passing defense was near the bottom in most categories in 2020, but Philadelphia’s passing attack is such a major weakness that I don’t see this being an issue for them. Moreover, the Falcons ranked No. 6 in rushing yards allowed last year.
The Eagles’ strength on defense is their pass rush. They ranked among the top teams in the league in sacks with 49, though opposing quarterbacks posted a 102.4 passer rating which was fifth-highest. They also had the fourth-fewest interception. The rushing defense was good, but not enough to slow teams down.
The Falcons should be able to control this game on the ground early and attack the Eagles defense with play-action passing. Philadelphia will have to play from behind, which will not bode well for Jalen Hurts and will lead to some turnovers.
The perception is that these two teams are even coming off similar finishes last year, but the Falcons got better on offense and the Eagles did not do enough to improve, which is reflected in the NFL gameday odds.
Betting Pick: Falcons 27, Eagles 17
Falcons vs Eagles Best Bets
Best Bet: Falcons -3.5 (-110) at BetMGM
As I wrote before, I really feel like the public perception is both teams are evenly matched, so the typical 3- to 4-point home field advantage comes into play. However, after looking at both teams and what they have done in the offseason, I feel the Falcons have a much more better team on offense and should be able to control the tempo of this game.
I would make the odds on this game closer to -5.5 to -6.
Best Bet: Point Total Under 48.5 (-110) at DraftKings
Initially, I thought this game could be an over play, but after digging into the Eagles’ offense, I am definitely on the under. I have this game predicted at 27-17, but I could even see where the Eagles struggle most of the game.
The Falcons will be able to lean on Mike Davis to control the ground game and keep Philly’s offense off the field. I struggle to see how this Eagles offense will be able to put together long scoring drives.
Also, shop around on this as 48 is a key number, so getting the extra hook is huge.
Best Bet: Eagles Under 22.5 (-120) at DraftKings
The Eagles have done very little to improve this bottom-five offense from a year ago. This is a unit with some of the worst wide receivers and a mobile quarterback. They were also dead-last in average yards per pass attempt and third down conversions.
The Eagles are going to struggle a lot on offense this year — especially on the road. Asking them to get three touchdowns or two touchdowns/three field goals is a tall task.
Falcons vs. Eagles Same Game Parlay Picks
- Atlanta Falcons -6.5
- Under 44.5
For my same game parlay I am going to extend the line on the Falcons and the under, as I see value in both. If this game gets away from the Eagles, it could end up more like 27-13 or 24-10.