Two things are simultaneously true: The Atlanta Falcons are one of the best teams in the NFL on paper, and they are virtually nobody’s favorites to actually win it all. While most outlets have given this team their due as one of the NFL’s favorites, not everyone has been willing to do so.
Funny thing: The Falcons are being given worse playoff odds than the Packers, Jaguars, Texans, Chargers, Rams, Vikings, Saints, Patriots, Steelers and Eagles. That would seem to suggest that the Falcons, who recently were named the second-best collection of talent in the NFL by ESPN, are viewed by some oddsmakers are the 11th-best team in the NFL.
Opening odds to make the 2018 NFL playoffs (@betonline_ag):— OddsShark (@OddsShark) July 5, 2018
Why might that be? There’s no indication in these tweets, but it’s worth noting that OddsShark has the Falcons projected to win just nine games in 2018, a year after they won 10 despite some hilariously inept offensive performances. That’s a conclusion I obviously disagree with, but it does explain why Atlanta is currently projected to be about the sixth seed in the NFC. Perhaps the team’s recent run of excellent injury luck is to blame, or the expectation that a brutal conference will end up taking a chunk out of them, or Julio Jones spooked them. I don’t honestly know, and I try not to get overly worked up about any of this, but it is sort of puzzling.
However, I do it when the Falcons beat the odds, so let’s hope for that.