December 26, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) defends against Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 45-16. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Las Vegas' Early Perspective on 2012 Atlanta Falcons

The NFL is a non-stop business building towards the regular season as soon as the Super Bowl is over. The effects of this are felt in sports betting, something Las Vegas excels at and focuses on non-stop and year round. With the 24/7 year round focus on the NFL today, why wouldn’t Vegas do the same thing and create very early betting lines for teams?

The first thing I saw in this article was the odds to winning Super Bowl XLVII. The Falcons are currently holding 25 to 1 odds for winning the championship game. This is not particularly good odds considering they held 12 to 1 odds going into the 2011 season. However, I don’t look on this so much as a negative as it is a positive. Having such high odds says that you are a favorite to go deep in the playoffs, and that generally means there is tremendous pressure on that team to win. I’m not saying the Falcons don’t have a tremendous amount of pressure on them, but I think that they aren’t as high profile as last year. Remember when SI’s Peter King picked the Falcons and Chargers for the Super Bowl? That’s not happening this year.

You have to take a look at the link above to get a full view of the recently drawn spread on the 2012 schedule. There are very few surprises on the schedule. Games that you would expect to be close are predicted close, and almost obviously the Falcons would be favored over a completely even team at home. Atlanta is favored in 9 of 15 games, 7 of 7 home games, and only 2 of the 7 road games. I think that the Falcons will beat Kansas City on the road in week 1, and at home against Tampa in week 17. Unfortunately, I would expect that there is a game (maybe two) that the Falcons might shockingly lose at home, but there is also almost certainly a couple road games that the Falcons are underdogs in that they will win.

In the end Vegas tries as hard as it can to be as accurate as it can in its predictions so that they don’t lose money. It doesn’t behoove them to make predictions that favor one side or the other. No team talks louder than another; the only thing that talks is cold hard cash. Las Vegas has experts who research extensively so that they don’t lose money when the set the betting line. I think it says a lot that the people who make the lines have given the Falcons 9 certain wins, a Pick’em game (against the Kansas City Chiefs), and an undecided yet winnable game in week 17. The Falcons should, according to the ‘experts’ in Vegas, win 11 games. I think that bodes well for playoff seeding, and hopefully for success in the playoffs.


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  • SoCal Chief

    Kansas City will have SEVEN more pro-bowlers or 1st round players added to their team this year, which they didn’t have last year when they still managed to finish 7-9.  SEVEN more returning from injury, added through free agency or selected in the draft.
    Plus its week 1 in Arrowhead stadium with a Crennel coached defense which will almost certainly rank among the top 6 defenses this year.  Can you say loud?
    I’d suggest the dirty birds’ fans place a wager on the Chiefs to win.  This should nullify the pain of an opening weekend loss.
    Remember, you heard it from me first..

  • Greg Huseth

    Maybe you’re right. I’ll give you that Berry will be back, that Charles will be back, and that the defensive front will be nothing to sniff at. And Arrowhead is a tough, tough place to play. I think that time will tell if your 1st rounders are going to be the tremendous impact players in week 1 that you think they will. It will not by any means be a cakewalk. I’d just be surprised if the Chiefs light up the scoreboard with Matt Cassel leading them. No doubt the Falcons will be challenged to put up points, but I feel they will be able to put up just enough to win. A 16-13 game would sound about right for how these teams matchup. But you are right, that 16 could be in the Chiefs favor at the end of the day.

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