Over/unders on wins: Falcons (10.5), Dogs (8), Jackets (6)

According to one oddsmaker, neither Mark Richt (eight wins) nor Paul Johnson (six) will have great regular seasons. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Will Mark Richt and Paul Johnson do better than oddsmakers project? (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Matt Ryan has struggled to let go of two defeats in his career. Not surprisingly, both of those were playoff losses.

“The problem is you can’t go out and play the next week,” he said. “But you can’t let it leave you with a hangover forever.”

Not forever. Just until opening week the following season. Football season is nearing and it has been a while since all three major teams in the area were coming off such downers.

The Falcons, following a 13-3 regular season and a bye week, were hammered at home by Green Bay 48-21. Georgia, after the stench of a 6-6 regular season, did something even Bubba Joe Bulldog Boxer Shorts never could’ve envisioned, losing to Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl. Georgia Tech, in the year after an ACC championship, also tumbled to six wins and lost to Air Force in the Independence.

Caution tends to follow humiliation. While the Falcons may have put themselves in the Super Bowl hunt with the signing of Ray Edwards, their projected regular season win total this season is down, partly because of a tougher schedule but also because 13-win regular seasons generally are reserved for teams that don’t lose home playoff games by 27 points.

The over/unders are out for this season. According to the online sportsbook Bodog.com, whose lines generally equate to most in Las Vegas, the over/under on Falcons’ wins this season is 10.5. Georgia is at 8. Georgia Tech: at only 6.

Over or under 10.5 wins for Falcons?

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Over or under 8 wins for Georgia?

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These totals do not include playoff, bowl or conference championship games. So the projections basically have the Falcons going somewhere between 10-6 and 11-5, Georgia going 8-4 and Tech going on 6-6.

Personal view: The total for the Falcons is on target. Georgia and Tech both are slightly understated. The breakdown:

Over or under 6 wins for Georgia Tech?

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FALCONS (10.5): Go over (or under?): We’re going to find out pretty early about this team. In the first five weeks, the Falcons travel to Chicago, play host to Philadelphia, travel to Tampa Bay, travel to Seattle, then must come back home to play defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay on a Sunday night. If they can come out of that 4-1, most people would be ecstatic.

Here’s how I break it down. The Falcons will go 4-2 within the division (sweeping Carolina, splitting with New Orleans and Tampa). I’m giving them home wins over Tennessee and Jacksonville and road wins at Seattle, Detroit and Houston. That’s 9-2, leaving five difficult games: home against Philadelphia, Green Bay and Minnesota, and road at Chicago and at Indianapolis.  With three of those games in the Georgia Dome, they’ll certainly go no worse than 2-3, which would leave them 11-5.

GEORGIA (8): Go over ( I think). Once the Bulldogs get past Boise State and South Carolina, they fall into one of their easiest schedules in years. They avoid Alabama, LSU and Arkansas from the West. The rest of the schedule is stacked with easily winnable games (save maybe that one in Jacksonville): Coastal Carolina, at Mississippi, Mississippi State, at Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, Florida, New Mexico State, Auburn, Kentucky, at Georgia Tech.

I know. Last season, nobody would’ve expected such a complete program unraveling, an early season-smothering, four-game losing streak, and defeats to Mississippi State, Colorado and Central Florida. But where are the losses here? One or two early. Maybe Florida. Maybe Georgia Tech for rivalry sake. Auburn and Tennessee aren’t any good. Mississippi State is decent but it’s hard to imagine Georgia losing to them two years in a row (this time in Athens). I’m going 9-3. (My complete game-by-game Georgia breakdown will be coming in the AJC’s football section on Aug. 28.)

GEORGIA TECH (6): Go over (I’m sure. I think). For every Georgia fan who wonders, “How do you lose to Colorado?” there’s a Tech fan asking, “How do you lose to Kansas?” The Jackets should — should — mow through the first three games (Western Carolina, at Middle Tennessee State, Kansas ). Florida State is not on the schedule but there’s a difficult stretch in the middle: at Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech. But the rest of the ACC really isn’t that good. The Jackets also have 16 days between the Virginia Tech and Georgia games, with only Duke in the middle.

Tech has lost a lot of talent in the last two years  but coach Paul Johnson seems to enjoy being around this team more and expects better leadership. I’m going 8-4 on the Jackets with four losses coming among six opponents: North Carolina State, Virginia, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia.

See. That was easy. What could possibly go wrong?

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

235 comments Add your comment

JYD

August 4th, 2011
12:06 pm

Peter

August 4th, 2011
12:13 pm

lol @ 10.5..

rduck

August 4th, 2011
12:16 pm

Falcons probably spot on. UGA comes down to ho they come out of the first 2 games. GT has an easy schedule early, but gets tough down the stretch. Hopefully this team will be hitting on all cylinders before that stretch of games. I’d say they get between 7-9 wins.

rduck

August 4th, 2011
12:17 pm

sorry, “how”

falconfan58

August 4th, 2011
12:21 pm

Schultz–take an extended vacation. Find a job in California. You are always so damn negative.

dkchap

August 4th, 2011
12:21 pm

Falcons 10-6; Dawgs 9-3; Tech 7-5. I’ll take that bet on both UGA and GT getting over 8 and 6.

now lookie here

August 4th, 2011
12:23 pm

look i understand everyone’s expecting a drop off in auburn this year but in college football you don’t go from hero to zero that soon. I’ve never heard someone call the defending national champion as “aren’t that good”

By no means am I an auburn homer, i was cheering for oregon in the natty, but robochiz will have them motivated with a chip on their shoulder on the plains.

homefield advantage truly isn’t huge for uga anymore. How many times has an opponent after a game said that sanford stadium was too loud? Heck, GT almost won there last year if that kicker could make an extra point. Kentucky the year before, Vandy a little while ago. Arkansas, the bama trouncing, on and on and on……home games doesn’t mean it’s any easier for uga-the drunken fan base is on their backs on any slip.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

August 4th, 2011
12:23 pm

The Tennessee game should worry everybody. I thought we had broken the curse of Knoxville when Richt first arrived but the last few year’s have shown me the curse is back.

That will be a very tough game for us and they have found a good QB

cowboyhippie

August 4th, 2011
12:24 pm

UGA will win the SEC east this year! GATA

tyler

August 4th, 2011
12:24 pm

Not to quibble but with the Falcons it would be somewhere between 10-6 and 11-5….I think that 8 may be dead on with UGA. I would be surprised if they beat AU, UT, and Miss State. There’s a loss in there somewhere. GT should win 7 games and the Falcons- well, I would be happy with 10-6….just make the playoffs. What’s your guess on the Braves, Jeff? I’m guessing over/under of 91. I’d would take the over.

HEYWARDS BOBBLEHEADS BREAK TOO

August 4th, 2011
12:26 pm

BREAKING NEWS: Chipper Jones dislocated his right pinky shutting the door on his pickup. No, not shutting the door, just looking at himself in the mirror and getting the chew off his lip.

oldbird

August 4th, 2011
12:27 pm

Jeff, are we playing a 15 or 17 game season? 10-5 or 11-6?

Jeremy Knipe

August 4th, 2011
12:28 pm

The Falcons success will be determined on how well Michael Turner performs….regardless of the receiving weapons. I think the defensive backs will look a lot better now that the defensive line is getting some help, and won’t have Jamaal Anderson up there anymore. I surely hope the tackling will be solid……. I also don’t think 10 wins will get us in the playoffs.

Red Stick (formerly Jumbeauxtiger)

August 4th, 2011
12:28 pm

Jeff,

I don’t see Auburn and Tennessee as “easily winnable games” as you say. Auburn will be better than many think and Georgia has not had much success in Knoxville lately. That said I do believe the Dawgs will be favored in both games.

Danny Sheridan’s over/under for UGA is 8.5.

I believe UGA goes 9-3.

Geaux Tigers
GO SEC

Jeremy Knipe

August 4th, 2011
12:29 pm

“So the projections basically have the Falcons going somewhere between 10-5 and 11-6″

I could live with 10-5 with a chance to win the last game. 11-6 if we get the first round boooot in the playoff.s

techfan

August 4th, 2011
12:30 pm

I have a hard time believing that GT can’t get over 6 wins. Last season was a complete train wreck and they still got 6 wins. UGA I pick to win 8, but I would probably take the over as well. As for the Falcons, that is a tricky one. I would bet the over on that also though.

East Repeat

August 4th, 2011
12:32 pm

Don’t you think sportswriters and fans in Auburn and Tenn are saying the same thing about UGA, “they aren’t very good this year”?
Charlotte Dog is right, Tenn QB is good.

Herschel Talker

August 4th, 2011
12:34 pm

Schultzie:

Falcons go over

Dawgs push (and Richt gets canned!!!)

Jackets push

HT

PMC

August 4th, 2011
12:35 pm

Too close to bet really. Georgia and Tech could both push though I’m inclined to take the over on both and the Falcons as well.

Falcons will either win 10 or 11. I think anyway.

The Walking Yech

August 4th, 2011
12:39 pm

Coons: over
Dawgs: 8-10
Nerds: 6 at the most. 5-7 is my prediction and nobody will lose their virginity again this year.

GTT

August 4th, 2011
12:40 pm

Bet the Falcons are more likely to be 11-5 or 10-6.

Red Stick (formerly Jumbeauxtiger)

August 4th, 2011
12:41 pm

USA Today Preseason poll released today:

1. Okla
2 Bama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. FSU
6. Stanford
7. Boise St
8. Okla St
9. Texas A&M
10. Wisconsin
12. S Carolina
14. Ark
19. Auburn
20. Miss St
22. Georgia
23. Florida

Dawglasville

August 4th, 2011
12:46 pm

I think it is spot on. I definitely think Tech will win more than six. I believe that the Dawgs will win 9 or more. I hope the Falcons survive this schedule and win 11 or more.

I agree with one of the earlier post that the Dawgs don’t really have anything special at home. We really haven’t shown anything special on the road lately either. The easier schedule has got to help.

JMar

August 4th, 2011
12:46 pm

If UGA’s were 8.5, I wouldn’t be making any bets. But the over, with 8 being a push, seems pretty good.

DC

August 4th, 2011
12:46 pm

yeah I’m a homer..but AU isn’t going to be an “easy win”…a lot of people are stating that AU is going to be better than projected..i agree..but that will rely on how well the QB position does…

UGA goes Over that number though..

The Walking Yech

August 4th, 2011
12:46 pm

I really think Nawlins will stink and not win more than 6 games. They’re getting old, fast. Injuries are a bugaboo with them also. Tech has very little talent and D1 coaches get a better understanding on PJ’s offense each year. I don’t think PJ will last much longer at the joke by the coke. The can’t recruit Georgia at all!

P. Bull Terrier

August 4th, 2011
12:46 pm

What ACC Championship are you talking about, Jeff? You mean the one Tech thought they won in 2009, until they had to give it back for being a bunch of stubborn fools? As far as I know, as it stands now there wasn’t an ACC Champion in 2009 so Tech’s fall from NOT winning the ACC Championship to a 6 win season the following year doesn’t look quite so bad.

The Walking Yech's Mother

August 4th, 2011
12:49 pm

Are you already home from work? Please cut the grass this afternoon. Also,,,change your bed sheets again. Love, mom

Ross

August 4th, 2011
12:51 pm

The Falcons do not have a tough schedule. I say 12-4. Their worst enemy is the 4 night games.

Bjohndawg

August 4th, 2011
12:51 pm

Dawgs 10-2 and east
tech. 9-3
falcons 12-4

Deep Ball

August 4th, 2011
12:51 pm

Dawns win 10 behind great defense. In CMR’s first 5 years UGA was 46-1 in games in which it scored 18+ points. In his second 5 UGA has lost 11 games in which it scored 18+ and 4 of those came last year in transition. The DC responsible for 4 of the last 5 isnt here anymore, and the other DC was trying to install a new system without the right players. The dawgs get back to Junkyard D with improved locker room, additional experience in the 3-4, and the right personal. Can’t wait!

dark void surrounded by a sphincter muscle

August 4th, 2011
12:52 pm

Red Stick (formerly Jumbeauxtiger)

August 4th, 2011
12:41 pm
*****************************************
Did you go to Tech?

Bill

August 4th, 2011
12:54 pm

Falcons schedule too tough.9-10 wins at the most.

Dr. Phil

August 4th, 2011
12:54 pm

Hello? Georgia has been on a down trajectory and had a losing season last year. Too many people are drinking Richt’s “Dream Team” kool aid. UGA will win no more than seven games. Richt will declare the season a success and give pay raises to his staff.

The Walking Yech

August 4th, 2011
12:54 pm

My mommas a zombie with a taste for Nerdy, Socially Awkward, Virgins. Better watch out, she loves to hang out at a good fish fry!

azdawg

August 4th, 2011
12:55 pm

Last season all the pundits and fans had UGA as one of the top teams in the SEC then it all fell apart losing 4 in a row. There’s no telling how they’ll do this season. Its all a big ? The outlook is promising but figure in player departures, injuries and lingering player issues w/ncaa, etc, the upside takes a big hit and doubt creeps in again w/visions of last seasons unbelieveable outcome.

So, all this guessing as how they’ll do in W’s and L’s will just have to play out on the field before we know if this seasons team is any better than others before it.

Joe Tess Fish House

August 4th, 2011
12:56 pm

Flacons barley win 4 games this year they waisted all there draft picks on thug from Bama so it will only get worst next year.

dark void surrounded by a sphincter muscle

August 4th, 2011
12:56 pm

1. Oklahoma
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. LSU
5. Florida State
6. Stanford
7. Boise State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Texas A&M
10. Wisconsin
11. Nebraska
12. South Carolina
13. Virginia Tech
14. Arkansas
15. TCU
16. Ohio State
17. Michigan State
18. Notre Dame
19. Auburn
20. Mississippi State
21. Missouri
22. Georgia
23. Florida
24. Texas
25. Penn State

Happy to help!

The Walking Yech

August 4th, 2011
12:57 pm

I’d love to see the Coons at 5-3 after their first 8. That is a brutal way to start.

Jackets 2011

August 4th, 2011
12:59 pm

Tech will play with a chip on its shoulder and win at least 9.
I’ll take that bet.
Will top my stock market beatdown for sure.

dark void surrounded by a sphincter muscle

August 4th, 2011
1:00 pm

Georgia could win ONE game the entire season and I would be elated…………….

BEAT FLORIDA………………..for once

Sarcasm

August 4th, 2011
1:00 pm

You’re right now lookie here, they should play the UGA games at a high school. Go to a game before you type such drivel.

LESD

August 4th, 2011
1:01 pm

Jeff, you say that “For every Georgia fan who wonders, ‘How do you lose to Colorado?’ there’s a Tech fan asking, “How do you lose to Kansas?”

You seem to be assuming then that there are as many Tech fans as Georgia fans. And that’s makes me chuckle.

dark void surrounded by a sphincter muscle

August 4th, 2011
1:02 pm

Don’t feed the Trolls……………especially the fishy smellin’ ones………….lol…!! Oh, that’s his Momma…..roflmao!!!

wrecked

August 4th, 2011
1:02 pm

Falcons 11
Dawgs 9-10
Tech 6 may be a push, talent level has spiraled downward it could get ugly if they slip up and lose early.

Welcome to the Truth

August 4th, 2011
1:03 pm

@ The Walking Yech – sir, you are an idiot. When speaking an opinion at least establish it on some level of fact. Your rant is baseless, incoherent, and reinforces the above line “you are an idiot”. You add zero value add to this discussion. So again I say, sir, you are an idiot.

Jackets 2011

August 4th, 2011
1:03 pm

Falcons are not going to the Superbowl, much less win it, so why buy tickets?
So why buy Tech tickets?
College ball you love regardless.
The pros you can do without, especially with Atlanta’s record of one championship.

U guys r hilarious!

August 4th, 2011
1:04 pm

The easiest bet is GT, OVER.
IF UGA starts 2-0 then theirs is easy too (too bad you can’t bet after 9/10). But since bowls games are not included it makes UGA a tougher call … I’m seeing 8-4 for the Dawgs, if they start 1-1. 9+ Ws if they start 2-0. And 8 Ws, at best, if they start 0-2.
11-5, 12-4, or better is easy to see for the Falcons knowing the personel they have. But going out and doing it week-to-week in the NFL is the wildcard. If I HAD to bet I’d go with the OVER.

Potter

August 4th, 2011
1:05 pm

Tech loses 10

And they will lie and cheat despite losing on the field.

Pathetic pieces of doo.

WEST GUY

August 4th, 2011
1:06 pm

MSU38 UGA 14 Book it,