2017 Week 1 NFL Betting Trends, Early Predictions: Falcons-Bears Under 7-1

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C Costigan
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One of the hottest trends in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season is the UNDER going 7-1 in the Falcons-Bears series.  The total for this game was coming in at 50.5. LIVE IN-PLAY BETTING will be available for this game.

With a total this high, one has to review both team’s offenses.  Only the Raiders-Titans total was higher at 52.

In the nine games played since 1992, none in this series have come remotely close to totaling 50.5.  The most recent game between these two teams took place in 2014 with a final score of 40.

Still, Atlanta’s last four games overall, including the Super Bowl, featured four games that went well OVER this total.  Chicago allowed 30 or more points to be scored by their opponent in their final three meaningless games of last season.  They permitted the opposing team to score 26 or more points in three of the previous four games.

Falcons Offensive Preview

Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu said in a press conference this past May when asked about the potential for improvement.

“I think so. I don’t feel like we reached our full potential last year. That’s what we intend to do this year, keep growing and growing. We have to start back and square one and keep building.”

A week later, 1,079-yard rusher Devonta Freeman got the same question:

“Last year I definitely left some stuff out there,” said Freeman, who scored 11 touchdowns on the ground and two through the air. “But, I got better from my sophomore year in the NFL. It’s just little things like breaking arm tackles, running through. I feel like I can get better at helping the offensive linemen out ’cause those guys they bust their butts and they don’t get to rotate. … Helping those guys out by giving them a blow, breaking a big tackle.”

Seven of their last nine games during the 2016 regular season resulted in the Falcons scoring 31 or more points.  In half of their last ten games they scored 38 or more points.

Latest 2017 Futures Odds: Atlanta Falcons

Bears Defensive Preview

Heading into 2017, the Bears featured one of the worst defenses in the league when it came to creating turnovers. In fact, they ranked last in the NFL in team takeaways per game.  Not good when facing a team the likes of Atlanta.

Third-year nose tackle Eddie Goldman says he is confident the newfound focus on fumbles and interceptions will result in dramatic change, especially with a solid front seven in place.

“The front seven on any team is always the core,” he said. “I feel like we’re meshing, we’re coming together, playing good, and there’s an urgency.”

Three-time Pro Bowler Kyle Long is impressed.  He’s been tasked with blocking them leading up to the new season. 

During his 4th of July vacation, Long tweeted:

On the west coast thinking about the damage our defense is gonna do this year #Monsters

From USA Today:

The healthy return of Pernell McPhee, the continued emergence of Leonard Floyd, and the downright nasty play of guys like Akiem Hicks and Jerrell Freeman will make the front-seven as good as any this year.

Remember: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman is healthy, too, and veteran additions Quintin Demps, Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper will elevate the play of the secondary beyond the average (at best) accomplishments of the group a season ago.

Bears Offensive Preview

Fresh from an underperforming season with the New York Giants, Victor Cruz is likely to improve with the change in scenery many believe.  After all, Cruz finished the first two seasons in the league with over 1,000 yards receiving.

Mitchell Trubisky will likely be starting for the Bears, but probably not until Week 3, if not later.

Jordan Howard is likely to be the league’s best rusher.  In just 15 games played last season he finished with the second most rushing yards (1,313) in the NFL.

But Chicago did score 21 or fewer points in eight of their last ten games of 2016, a few games under the 25.5 threshold we’d like to see, assuming both teams are made equal, in surpassing the 50.5 total posted.

Latest 2017 Futures Odds: Chicago Bears

Falcons Defensive Preview

The Falcons defense should be much improved in 2017.  It took some time last season for the defense to finally begin to gel.  They did allow 20 or more points to be scored by their opponent in six of their last ten games of the season, including the Playoffs and Super Bowl.

Improved is one thing, but nobody is saying Atlanta’s defense will be a juggernaut any time soon. 

The Falcons finished the 2016 regular season in the lower half of most defensive statistics. 25th in yards allowed, 26th in defensive third-down percentage, 27th in points allowed, and tied for 30th in first downs allowed (last in first down passes allowed).

Falcons-Bears Early Predictions

At home the Bears scored no fewer than 20 points in their last five games played at Soldier Field last season.  The average was 23 with a peak of 27.

Assuming Chicago is able to score 23 points (and they should be able to against the Falcon defense that allowed more than that number to be scored in half of their last ten games in 2016-2017), the Falcons would only need to put up 28 points to get OVER that 50.5 hump.  We think that’s a relatively easy task considering they scored no fewer than 28 points in their last nine games of 2016-2017.


- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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