|Written by Michael Patrick|
Bet on the NFLThe Atlanta Falcons are the Super Bowl betting underdogs this Sunday against the New England Patriots. Hey, people betting on Super Bowl have to favor one team over the other. However, that in no way detracts anything from a praiseworthy Atlanta team. It has been said that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, general manager Thomas Dimitroff did not get enough credit for sowing the seeds of a Super Bowl team – and as far back as 2014 at that – until the Falcons, well, made it to the actual championship game.
To be sure, these are not the same Falcons that went 4-12 in 2013. Far from it; as a matter of fact, only six of Atlanta’s current starters were on the team that season, including long-suffering quarterback Matt Ryan. Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli discovered 10 of the Falcons’ starters in the past three drafts, including the likes of running back Devonta Freeman, linebacker Vic Beasley, and left tackle Jake Matthews. All told, more than 20 players in Atlanta’s active roster joined the Falcons this very season, including four rookie starters picked in the first four rounds of the 2016 draft.
Super Bowl 51 odds
Patriots -3 (-105) OV 58½ (-110) -155
Credit is due owner Arthur Blank as well, who allow Dimitroff’s, Pioli’s, and head coach Dan Quinn’s vision play out during 2015 (when Atlanta went 8-8, including a 5-0 start to the regular season) and, in the process, pay off in spades. The Falcons went 11-5 in the 2016 regular season, and won the NFC South division and the NFC championship game both for the first time since 2012. Additionally, Atlanta fans betting on Super Bowl will have a chance to do some Super Bowl betting on the Falcons for the first time in 18 years (Atlanta last and appearance in an NFL championship game was in 1998 when they lost to the Denver Broncos).
Year-before-last’s third-round running back Tevin Coleman, rookie tight end Austin Hooper and free-agent wide receiver pickups Taylor Gabriel and Aldrick Robinson, as well as Julio Jones, have all contributed to making the Falcons’ offense first in points, second in total yards, and fifth in rushing yards, while Matty Ice’s best season ever resulted, among many other things, in Atlanta ranking third in passing yards. The defense, on the other hand, did not fare as well, but there is a lot to be optimistic about in cornerback Jalen Collins, safety Keanu Neal, linebacker Deion Jones, linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, and Beasley. The future is so bright these guys have to wear shades – a future that begins this Sunday when they will all start in the Super Bowl 51. All things considered, the Falcons’ inexperience – excepting Ryan – is part of the reason that they are Super Bowl betting underdogs versus the Pats. Notwithstanding that, fans betting on Super Bowl who are willing to take a gamble on these young whippersnappers could end up winning big.