Atlanta Falcons football is finally here. In Week 1, the Falcons are playing host to the Carolina Panthers, which will get one of the teams a good start in the divisional rankings. The Falcons lead the all-time series 35-21, and the game will feature two notable first-round rookies: running back Bijan Robinson and quarterback Bryce Young.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, as are most of the Falcons games this year unless something is flexed later on in the season. As of this writing, the Falcons are favored by 3.5 points on Sunday, and the current/under is at 39.5. Before making any decisions though, let’s look at some more numbers, graciously provided by our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Can the Falcons cover?
The Falcons can absolutely cover on Sunday. The team is littered with young talent, and a lot of them have not been on the field together. Desmond Ridder has not played with Kyle Pitts, who was injured last season when Ridder was finally the starter. Additionally, Robinson will make his NFL debut and it’s anyones guess how that will go.
A lot of what happens will rely on Ridder who made four starts as a rookie and recorded a 63.5% completion rate, 708 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions at the end of the 2022 regular season.
Drake London: Over 52.5 receiving yards (-120)
I’m taking the over here. London was very up-and-down during the first portion of the 2022 season. Not so much due to himself, but quarterback Marcus Mariota was unreliable as a passer. With Ridder in the final four games of the season, London averaged nearly 83 yards per game. With London inserted as Ridder’s top receiving target, 52.5 receiving yards seems very doable in my opinion.
Desmond Ridder: Under 199.5 passing yards (-115)
I think Ridder gets close to the 200-yard mark on Sunday, but likely around 170-area. The Falcons had the best run game in the league during the 2022 season, and inserting Bijan Robinson is likely to make it even better. I can see the Falcons leaning on the run game to make Ridder’s day more comfortable.
Bijan Robinson: Over 69.5 rushing yards (-115)
Speaking of Robinson, it’s his season debut and I think 69.5 yards is doable. I can see Robinson breaking off a 40-yard run, which means he would only need around 30 yard rushing to hit the over. I’l take that all day, honestly.
Bijan Robinson: Over 87.5 receiving + rushing yards (-115)
This prop bet seems like easy money. I’ll be shocked if Robinson doesn’t have at least 50 yards rushing, and he’s definitely going to be used in the receiving game so 87.5 is very doable in my eyes. Here’s to hoping Robinson has a day on Sunday!
Kyle Pitts: Over 3.5 receptions (+110)
As mentioned above, we haven’t seen Ridder and Pitts in a regular season game together. With that being said, and call it wishful thinking if you want, but I think Pitts hits the over here. If the Falcons want to win, Pitts needs to be involved. I think Pitts has around 7 receptions in Week 1, so I’m taking the over.
Falcons fans, what Falcons-Panthers bets have you put down at DraftKings this week? Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Let us know in the comments!