The Atlanta Falcons enter the 2022 NFL season with a new quarterback for the first time since 2007. Newcomers Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder will battle for the starting quarterback job as the Falcons rebuild their roster. Let’s examine the Falcons’ current record prediction, projected win totals, any intriguing prop bets involving the franchise, and their odds to win the NFC South, NFC, and Super Bowl in 2023.
All odds are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise stated and are correct as of Aug. 8 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Atlanta Falcons record prediction 2022
Following the release of the NFL schedule, Caesars has provided odds and spreads for 13 of the Falcons’ 2022 regular-season matchups. Based on those numbers, Atlanta is projected as favorites in zero games, underdogs in 12, and a push in one. If their first 13 games of the season match those predictions, the Falcons will have a 0-12-1 record following Week 14 of the 2022 campaign.
That’s quite the drop for a team that went 7-10 in 2021. The NFC South has improved around the Falcons, whereas this team took a considerable step backward. On top of trading Ryan, the Falcons also lost star receiver Calvin Ridley to a one-year suspension for gambling on NFL games.
With expectations low, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith must focus on making incremental improvements that highlight little successes. There’s not a pathway to the Falcons being a good team in 2022.
Their goal is to find as many long-term contributors as they can and then add a franchise quarterback in 2023 if Ridder is not the answer.
Falcons odds, picks, and props
Now we know the sportsbooks’ predictions for the Falcons on a week-by-week basis. Let’s look at their season-long odds for win totals, the division, conference, and the Super Bowl.
- Falcons win total: 5 (over +125, under -150)
- Falcons to have fewest wins: +400
- Falcons lowest scoring team: +500
- NFC South winner: +3500
- NFC winner: +10000
- Super Bowl winner: +20000
The Falcons will have a hard time winning games, and oddsmakers have favored the franchise to be the second-worst team in the league. This looks like an accurate assessment of their talent level and upside. There are only a handful of interesting playmakers on either side of the ball.
If there is an avenue for a surprise season, Mariota will need to play like he did earlier in his career. Having Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Cordarrelle Patterson is a solid surrounding cast. There’s not just much depth outside of them.
The defense is more skilled in the back end compared to the defensive line and linebacking corps. That’s going to be an issue. While having quality defensive backs matters, they can’t cover for a nonexistent pass rush.
Falcons MVP odds and player props
Without much hope of producing an MVP, our top Falcons betting odds revolve around their player props and rookie awards. Few teams can offer as much opportunity to produce as the lowly Falcons. Volume is a great thing for postseason awards and player props.
Marcus Mariota +10000
- Offensive Rookie of the Year
Drake London +800
- Defensive Rookie of the Year
Arnold Ebiketie +5000
- Drake London regular-season receiving yards
Over/Under 764.5 (-115)
- A.J. Terrell regular-season interceptions
Over/Under 2.5 (over -105, under -125)
Unfortunately, we don’t have options to bet on any prop involving Mariota, Patterson, or Pitts right now. Those would be key players worth monitoring to see if lines come available. For now, we’ll jump on bets involving London and cornerback A.J. Terrell.
With Russell Gage in Tampa Bay and Ridley off the active roster, there’s a big opportunity for London to walk into a situation where he can log 1,000 yards in Year 1. Gage caught 66 passes for 770 yards, and Ridely produced 281 yards off 31 receptions in 2021.
Losing Ryan will mean the quality of targets will drop, so the efficiency of the top receivers won’t be replicated. Pitts, London, and Patterson are clearly the top receivers. Even in a worst-case scenario, Arthur Smith should have these three again dominating the target share.
Terrell established himself as a Pro Bowl-caliber talent in 2021. He finished with three interceptions but posted elite coverage stats despite his pass rush falling to dead last in sacks. We’ll also want some action on him since he’s playing Baker Mayfield and Jameis Winston four times this year.
Falcons 2022 picks
We don’t have any positively-skewed bets for the Falcons, but they’re bad enough to consider for some unique props. Because the NFC South has three teams trying to win, the Falcons are already behind the curve with their mentality. Their roster is also significantly behind their peers, and the trade deadline could further strip them down.
For example, trading Patterson and cornerback Casey Hayward make too much sense.
Regardless, the Falcons will be a bottom-five team barring a quarterback emerging as a long-term solution. I highly doubt Mariota is that guy after his numerous injuries and troubles playing aggressively. Ridder has a little promise thanks to his athleticism and arm talent but also lacks anticipation and accuracy.
The combination of an inefficient passing game and porous pass rush will doom the Falcons. They are clearly a bottom-three roster alongside Houston and Chicago. I’m putting a full unit on this being the worst team in the league in 2022.
1u: Falcons under 5 wins (-150)
1u: Falcons lowest scoring team (+500)
1u: Falcons fewest wins (+400)
The pessimism around the Falcons stops here. Their top talent will produce because Smith has shown throughout his tenure with Tennessee as their offensive coordinator and his first season in Atlanta that he’ll feed his best players.
Without a Pitts or Patterson prop, I’m buying into London getting a large workshare. Mariota previously favored working with bigger-bodied receivers in Tennessee. Even Ridder has experience with tall and fast receivers at Cincinnati, as he often connected with Alec Pierce.
London’s 764.5 receiving yard line is a good one for bettors. The only way he does not hit this number is if the quarterback situation is much worse than we anticipate or he suffers a serious injury. But going off what Mariota has done to this point in his career and the favorable scheme Smith has created, London should see over 100 targets and easily surpass this yardage total.
Terrell’s interception total is always going to be a tough bet. He had three picks last year but is not a ball-hawking corner. He’s always around the ball, but turnovers are unpredictable.
I still like the over since it’s so modestly set, and the schedule he’s set to face can be reckless with the ball. In addition to playing Winston and Mayfield four times, Atlanta will also face Drew Lock/Geno Smith, Jacoby Brissett, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Carson Wentz, and Mitch Trubisky/Kenny Pickett.
1u: London over 764.5 receiving yards (-115)
1u: Terrell over 2.5 interceptions (-105)