Falcons vs. Bears Betting Odds – 2011 Week 1

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Falcons vs. Bears Betting Odds

Carrie Stroup here for Gambling911.com reporting on the latest Falcons vs. Bears betting odds for Week 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season. 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Atlanta -2.5 & 40.5

Opening Line & Total: Atl -1 & 41

The NFC’s top two teams during last year’s regular season kick off 2011 when Atlanta visits Chicago for a Week 1 matchup.

The Falcons were road warriors a year ago (6-2 SU and ATS away from Atlanta), but they were also recipients of some luck. They had the league’s lowest opponent field goal percentage during the regular season (65.2%) and were one of four teams to have opponents rack up more than 1,000 penalty yards against them (1,003, including a league-high 522 in road games). They were 1-2 SU and ATS with a minus-17 point differential in three road games against 2010 playoff teams last year. Chicago was 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS against 2010 playoff teams during last year’s regular season, and the slow track at Soldier Field should help neutralize the speed in Atlanta’s receiving corps.

Atlanta made two major offseason moves, one on either side of the ball. The team signed former Vikings DE Ray Edwards (eight sacks in 14 games last year) to a big-money deal, giving it a pass-rushing complement to John Abraham in an attempt to upgrade a mediocre pass rush.

They also traded a boatload of draft picks to get WR Julio Jones sixth overall in the draft. Jones brings the same run-blocking ability as departed starter Michael Jenkins, but has far more upside as a receiver. The Falcons passing game could be far more explosive if Jones becomes a threat opposite Roddy White, something Jenkins never became and something aging TE Tony Gonzalez can longer be. It could be especially key considering 29-year-old RB Michael Turner is unlikely to have success running the ball against a Bears defense that allowed an NFC-low 90.1 rushing yards per game in 2010.

Chicago’s biggest issue last year was the passing offense. QB Jay Cutler was his usual erratic self in his first year under offensive coordinator Mike Martz, but he got little help from arguably the NFL’s worst offensive line and receiving corps. The Bears added a couple of flailing ex-Cowboy receivers in Roy Williams and Sam Hurd, as well as drafting mauling RT Gabe Carimi with their first-round pick, in an attempt to improve. Williams is familiar with Martz’s offense from their time in Detroit together. Chicago also added aging RB Marion Barber as a complement to Matt Forte in the backfield. Barber is doubtful to play in Sunday's opener due to a calf injury.

The Bears bring back the core of their defense, which was one of the NFL’s best last year, but they must replace Danieal Manning in the secondary. Manning, who played corner at times in Chicago, became one of the league’s elite safeties in coverage and signed with Houston in free agency. Second-year safety Major Wright will likely replace him. He’ll be tested right off the bat against a Falcons passing attack that will be more potent than a year ago.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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