Betting windows open: Nevada says Falcons miss playoffs

These two quarterbacks had far different fates in the playoffs last season. (AP photo)

These two quarterbacks had far different fates in the playoffs last season. (AP photo)

When the betting windows opened Wednesday morning, it was clear the wise guys didn’t think much of the Falcons.

Cantor Gaming was the first Nevada bookmaker to release over/under win totals for the upcoming NFL season (via Covers.com). Neither the leaders (Green Bay and New England at 12 wins) nor the bottom-feeders (Cleveland, Indianapolis and Jacksonville at 5.5 wins) were surprising.

The Falcons’ over/under opened at nine wins, which equates to a 9-7 record (barring ties). If you’re wondering how that breaks down with the rest of Cantor’s projections, that means they would miss the playoffs, finishing behind New Orleans (10 wins) in the NFC South, and the New York Giants and Detroit (9.5) in the wild card race.

Now, this is where we remind you that betting lines aren’t meant to be predictions but rather enticements to get an even amount of money wagered on both sides. So it’s basically a read on perceptions. Therefore, we can conclude that Cantor’s read is that most people aren’t as optimistic about the Falcons next season as presumably the Falcons are.

I’ve taken all of Cantor’s projected over/under win totals and arranged the teams by division. So here are their projected standings, if the numbers are accurate:

NFC EAST
Philadelphia: 10
New York Giants: 9.5
Dallas: 8-5
Washington: 6.5
NFC NORTH
Green Bay: 12
Detroit: 9.5
Chicago: 8.5
Minnesota 6
NFC SOUTH
New Orleans: 10
Atlanta: 9
Carolina: 7.5
Tampa Bay 6
NFC WEST
San Francisco: 10
Seattle: 7
Arizona: 7
St. Louis: 6.5
AFC EAST
New England 12
New York Jets: 8.5
Miami: 7.5
Buffalo: 7
AFC NORTH
Pittsburgh: 10
Baltimore: 10
Cincinnati: 7.5
Cleveland 5.5
AFC SOUTH
Houston: 10
Tennessee: 7
Indianapolis: 5.5
Jacksonville: 5.5
AFC WEST
Denver: 9.5
San Diego: 9
Kansas City: 8
Oakland: 7

Playoff field:

NFC: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco, N.Y. Giants, Detroit.

AFC: New England, Pittsburgh, Houston, Denver, Baltimore, San Diego.

Here’s the Falcons’ 2012 schedule: at Kansas City, Denver, at San Diego, Carolina, at Washington, Oakland, bye, at Philadelphia, Dallas, at New Orleans, Arizona, at Tampa Bay, New Orleans, at Carolina, New York Giants, at Detroit, Tampa Bay.

I just went through it and, after a careful, extremely scientific, week-by-week dissection, which took approximately 27 seconds, concluded they will go 10-6. (Projections, as always, are subject to change. Also for entertainment purposes only.)

What are your thoughts on the opening over/under lines? And feel free to put on your prediction hat.

By Jeff Schultz

139 comments Add your comment

STRETCH

May 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

Jeff B

May 23rd, 2012
2:05 pm

Look, it all depends on whether we start playing like we think we can. If we do, we’ll beat the over by a lot. If we don’t, it won’t matter whether we make the playoffs or not, because we won’t go far in them anyway…

bugman

May 23rd, 2012
2:05 pm

I predict that weekend predictions will cover all spreads and O/u’s.

Bounty Hunter

May 23rd, 2012
2:12 pm

Playoffs ? who is talkin’ about playoffs ?

Jeff B

May 23rd, 2012
2:15 pm

Okay, since nobody has yet made an actual prediction yet, I guess I’ll take a stab. I say we overcome the pitfalls of learning new schemes and play up to our potential. We got 13-3, and make a deep run in the playoffs.

I do think Vegas set the line correctly, since plenty of people will bet both sides of that number.

bali

May 23rd, 2012
2:19 pm

16 and 0 babeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………….ohhh you are talking bout the smash mouth falcons…the non cheatin bird eaters..the falcoooneros..10 and 6 sounds good to me

richard whiskey

May 23rd, 2012
2:22 pm

sounds about right with choke ryan leading the team

Captain ATLANTA

May 23rd, 2012
2:26 pm

They are not predicting the record. They set the number where they think the action will be 50/50. If the betting is heavy on the over, the number will move higher. Cute to talk about and comment on, but truely meaningless.

JB

May 23rd, 2012
2:27 pm

Dawgs and Falcons a lot alike. They field a competitive team and the weaknesses really show when they play a superior opponent. 9-10 wins because of the schedule….same for the Dawgs

Henri

May 23rd, 2012
2:29 pm

My super-optimistic prediction is 12-4, but it depends on so many things… You have to think Denver isn’t going to be ready to face a team as solid as the Falcons so early in the season, so I counted that as a win. RGIII is a rookie, no matter how great his potential is, so I counted that as a win. No one knows whether the Saints will perform like they have in the past. With all the suspensions and interim leadership, there’s no telling how good they’ll be. I split our games against them. Carolina could be really awesome or just mediocre again, so I figure we’ll either split or win both against them. The Giants like to get hot at the end of the season, and Detroit could be very good again, so I split those games as well. Overall, it seems like we’re set up to have a very hot start, with our tougher competition at the tail end of the season. The key for the Falcons will be to get hot at the end of the season and carry momentum into the playoffs. Oh, and not playing the eventual NFC Super Bowl representative in the first round.

mark

May 23rd, 2012
2:33 pm

bets? really bets? this is one of the most fixed sports of all so! just lets wait and see with who the money is then the other teams wins! remember saints vs rams? that is what i call mob!

old qb

May 23rd, 2012
2:33 pm

Although the Falcons have a very difficult schedule I say they go 10-6. As usual in the NFC South Tampa Bay will be the surprise team and win at lteast 8-8. The Saints will win only 7 games this year unless Sean Payton has a secret mic going into Brees’ helmet. He’s the brains behind the Saints offense.
I’d rather see Konz play center, but he’ll be at right guard because he has the ability to pull on sweeps. Snelling will have a big year. Antone Smith may end up doing what Rogers would drafted to do. Kerry Meier will be in the slot in the red zone instead of Douglas and on short yardage 3rd down plays.
On defense Biermann will be the rush OLB in a lot of 3-4 looks and take a lot of pressure off Abraham. 3rd down will be much less a problem with the new defensive philosophy. That alone could get the Falcons comfortably into the playoffs. Robinson will be much better inside. If Tatufu can still motor the Falcons will be far better off.
Don’t be surprised when (no if) the Falcons add another tight end before the season starts (a good tight end).

Justin

May 23rd, 2012
2:35 pm

How anyone could project the Saints to win 10 games (let alone the division) in a season where they don’t have their head coach, their GM and their QB1 at the time of this comment is Chase Daniel is a little confusing. Brees isn’t even signed to a contract yet. I guess they’re assuming he signs soon, otherwise, the Saints are lucky to win 6 this season.

The Real Falcon

May 23rd, 2012
2:40 pm

10-6 seems about right at best.

abby normal

May 23rd, 2012
2:47 pm

Just for fun, I’ll take the over. Wouldn’t put any real money on it though.

C Patterson

May 23rd, 2012
2:49 pm

I think we will do better than a lot of people think. The Falcons aways get over looked. I think we will go 11-5.

SeenThisB4

May 23rd, 2012
2:50 pm

What these línes do indicate, is that most NFL bettors consider the Saints to be better than the falcan’ts, even with the suspensions. LOL! Feeling abused Schultz? Or just victimized?

Chris

May 23rd, 2012
2:51 pm

Looking at the schedule we could very well be 6-0 heading into the bye. It’s the second half of the season that gets tough. But even then I still think overall we win 10 or 11 games.

PMC

May 23rd, 2012
2:54 pm

Most betters are going to look at the fact that the Falcons were the absolute worst team in the playoffs last season and count them as being one of the teams to miss the playoffs.

I can understand where they are coming from, disagree and yet still not plunk my hard earned money down.

When you score 0 offensive pts in a playoff game the year after you got blown out of your own building I would say that would erode confidence

Smoove Criminal

May 23rd, 2012
2:55 pm

These predictions don’t mean a thing right now. Look at Philly last year, everything thought they were going to go deep into the playoffs last year before the season started and they bombed. I guess it gives us all something to talk about until the preseason starts in August, but there’s no certainty to them.

One thing is certain though in that if the Falcons don’t atleast get into the playoffs and past the 1st round, Mike Smith will be run out of town faster than he can sprint from the locker room to his car.

Captain ATLANTA

May 23rd, 2012
3:01 pm

What these línes do indicate, is that most NFL bettors consider the Saints to be better than the falcan’ts, even with the suspensions. LOL! Feeling abused Schultz? Or just victimized?
~SeenthisB4

That is correct… and the Majority of NFL bettors are wrong!! They didnt build those Casinos because the bettors were right!!

SeenThisB4

May 23rd, 2012
3:05 pm

Then go make your wager, CaptATL.

Jeff Schultz

May 23rd, 2012
3:07 pm

Bugman — I like the way you think.

Jeff Schultz

May 23rd, 2012
3:07 pm

Bali — 16-0 I think qualifies as “over”.

Benjamin

May 23rd, 2012
3:08 pm

This year really does appear to be a crapshoot to me. A lot of it depends on how we improve in the trenches. We’ve got skill players on top of skill players, but unless our guys that move the pile from both sides of the line come to play this year, we’re looking at 8-8 or 9-7 in my opinion.

Jeff Schultz

May 23rd, 2012
3:08 pm

Henri — Too much hype about Denver. I’m not sure they’ll get to 9.5 wins.

Benjamin

May 23rd, 2012
3:09 pm

In other words, “I’m not a betting man, Schultzie, but if I were, I’d take my bet elsewhere.”

tonyb

May 23rd, 2012
3:09 pm

Jeff, my first initial reaction at the start of the off season was that the Falcons would somewhat regress this year. But based on the off season activity, I have renewed optimism that this team may finally come together.

I think the Falcons did an outstanding job in replacing the two coordinators. Nolan is a first class defensive coordinator who I think will do wonders for the defense. In the next year, I think the Falcons will convert to a 3-4 base defense, once all of the personal is in place. And hopefully, the new offensive coordinator will finally open up the vertical passing game and allow Ryan to fully utilize the outstanding WR’s corp to stretch the field.

I also have to give props to Thomas Dimitroff. I think this draft was his strongest since 2008. Trading the first round pick for Julio Jones was genius. I promise you that in a few years Cleveland will regret that trade. And picking up the aging but hopefully effective Samuel for a 7th was another outstanding move. The players Dimiitroff picked may not be flashy, but they all effectively fill needs, especially the two O lineman and the FB.

And finally, the schedule sets up nicely. Couple that with the turmoil with the Saints, and the youth of the Panthers and lack of talent with the Bucs, I think the team will go 12-4 and win the division.

REAL FALCONS FAN

May 23rd, 2012
3:14 pm

yeah and this guy took a beating in the market too!

Steve From Dalton

May 23rd, 2012
3:20 pm

I don’t see the ‘aints winning 10 games.

DePort

May 23rd, 2012
3:20 pm

The first half of the season is not bad at all… so maybe one loss by the Bye … after that I see a few losses so im looking for 12-4 or 11-5 this year.

Jeff Schultz

May 23rd, 2012
3:23 pm

Smoove Criminal — I agree on Philly: There’s still a Michael Vick love-affair factor in that 10-win projection. Biggest question as always is whether he can stay healthy.

Larry

May 23rd, 2012
3:36 pm

Eveything for the Falcons once again depends on the line play–everything!

Same song now for four years…can they rush the passer and pass block?

Eb

May 23rd, 2012
3:44 pm

Falcons number will probably move lower to 8-8.5 by season start. Oddsmakers think Carolina and TB will improve and Saints will rebound well from the suspensions. Falcons are going with a similar lineup to last year and will be implementing new schemes on both sides of the ball which could take some time to smooth out. In the end, Falcons did little to create excitement last year or this offseason for the local fans more or less the national audience. The team as it is assembled is predictably boring and has been successful in the regular season due to half of the NFC South being weak. This soft schedule is why the Falcons look completely outmatched in playoff games.

Let me buy the groceries

May 23rd, 2012
3:59 pm

Falcons 11-5
Saints 8-8
Panthers 8-8
Bucs 6-10

old qb

May 23rd, 2012
4:20 pm

Hey do the guys making the picks. Philly…. Give me a break. Good coach, but a quarterback that never finishes the season. Now if Vegas wants to lay down odds on how long Vick lasts before going on IR I’d jump on it. He’s not as big or strong as the other now-in-vogue running QB’s–and he’s older. Philly is a 9-7 team at best in that division.
Atlanta won’t convert to a 3-4 team excusively because they don’t have the personnel for that type of shift. However, Mr. Overweight DE Edwards might be better with his hand in the dirt inside than he was outside in a 4-3. Hell, where’s Jamaal Anderson when we need him.
If Gonzalez goes down early the Falcons are screwed. TD has to get a pass-catching TE before the season starts or we’re toast.

Tokyo Tom

May 23rd, 2012
4:44 pm

I was in LV in May 2008 when they put the Falcons o/u at 5; I plopped down $1000 on the over and, at the end of October, flew out to LV to collect my winnings. This year- not so sure, I’m figuring the Birds to be right at 9-10 wins which might be enough to win the division. I see 3-3 in NFC South, 3-3 vs NFC other, and 3-1 vs AFC West. An upset win here while avoiding an upset loss there (Falcons are good at winning winnable regular season games) might yield that 10th win. Way too close in my book to wager on the o/u this year.

indianman

May 23rd, 2012
4:46 pm

1 say atlanta will go 13 and 3

godirtybirds53

May 23rd, 2012
4:50 pm

coons- 12-4
‘aints- 9-7
panthers 7-9
bucs 6-10

BikerDudeBravesFan

May 23rd, 2012
5:03 pm

This is a tough one because we have a tough early schedule and kind of like last year started.. we’ll most likely start out 3-3 .. KC is a tough place to play and Denver coming to the dome with Peyton frightens me just a little. My prediction would be 9-7 or 10-6 realistically. Now if we come out blazing and play with some fire in our belly then I could see us going 12-4 or 13-3. We have to prove that we can beat the Saints and Carolina and TB aren’t going to be easy this year. We have a very tough division and our opponents outside the division are no easy task. It is what it is! Go Falcons!!!

Gwinnett Fred

May 23rd, 2012
5:05 pm

I do feel that they need to win the division to make the playoffs. With rise of teams like Detroit and the Giants to go with teams like Dallas & Philadelphia due to rebound a wild card will be hard.

Figure Green Bay & San Fran taking 2 spots then there’s always a team or two that plays better than they are predicted to (Minnesota, Chicago, Seattle) and I think it will take 10 wins a a good division record (minimum 4-2) to make it.

Phil Lunney

May 23rd, 2012
5:06 pm

I like this prediction better than last year’s going to the Super Bowl prediction. Now maybe they will have something to prove.

JOEL

May 23rd, 2012
5:08 pm

BORROW ALL THE MONEY YOU CAN AND TAKE THE UNDER ON THE DOLPHINS!!!!

Mr. Vegas

May 23rd, 2012
5:12 pm

My betting tip of the day:

Since there will be 256 wins in the NFL (assuming no ties) and the over unders above total 263, it is one of the rare times a better would have the advantage against the house, by a 2.7% rate.

Pick the 2 teams you most feel will be an under – that is the bet to make (I’d take under 5.5 on Colts & under 9.5 on Lions – too tough of a division!).

Falcon's 4 life

May 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

Considering certain members of the media predicted them to go to the Super Bowl last year, I welcome this prediction!

Hackjobs

May 23rd, 2012
5:27 pm

Ah, but Vegas is forgetting one thing: The NFC South Jinx. No team has won the division in back to back years.

So, unless TB or Carolina REALLY surprise everyone, I say 10-6 or 11-5 and the division title for the Falcons.

mudcat47

May 23rd, 2012
5:35 pm

TD has screwed up our last 2 drafts. Even with an easy schedule, I say 9-7.

Heyward's Bat

May 23rd, 2012
5:42 pm

Based on that schedule, we’d probably go 13-3 at the most (Lose to PHI, at NO, and NYG) and 11-5 at the least (Lose to PHI, at NO, NYG, at CAR, and DET) We’ll win the division regardless.

atlanta to Seattle2016

May 23rd, 2012
5:58 pm

beat the very hated (New orlean aints)twice this season and i will dance on top of the bank of america building…i HATE THE AINTS SO PASSIONATLY..FALCONS 12/4 THIS SEASON

SeenThisB4

May 23rd, 2012
6:17 pm

Instead, a2catl2016, you may feel compelled to leap off the BOA bldg.