Two very good football teams square off in the 4:00 hour of Week 5, as the Atlanta Falcons travel to the Mile High City for Paxton Lynch’s first-ever NFL start. With the injury to Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian, Lynch will be inserted into the starting role, and it’ll be really interesting to see how the untested youngster fares against a revamped Falcons squad. Atlanta are a surprise team so far in 2016, bolting out to a 3-1 record on the backs of their explosive offense. It’ll surely get a test against a highly touted Broncos’ defense though this week. This has the makings of an absolutely great football game, and as always we’ve got your betting needs covered at TheSportsGeek. Read on below for full game analysis and a betting selection for this Falcons/Broncos tilt.
Falcons vs. Broncos Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons +4.5 (-115)
@ Denver Broncos -4.5 (-105)
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Broncos Pick:
Somehow, the 2016 Atlanta Falcons are 3-1, beating some solid teams in the process and doing so in impressive fashion. Simply put, their offense looks absolutely explosive, probably among the best in football. Matt Ryan looks rejuvenated under centre, and Julio Jones is fresh off a 300-yard receiving day. Last week, they torched a solid Panthers’ stop unit for 500 yards passing, and it truly seems like this group can score on anybody. Denver does boast a great defense themselves, so this really should be a showdown to follow along with.
This will surely be Atlanta’s stiffest test of the season. Denver probably has the 2nd best stop unit in all of football, behind Minnesota, and they’ve shown well so far in 2016. One area that hasn’t gotten much attention about Atlanta’s success, has been the excellent play and protection of their offensive line. They’ve been giving Ryan tons of time and space in the pocket, and though Von Miller will test that – the Falcons have the personnel to limit Miller’s pressure. Ryan will still be up against it, but he’s still got Julio Jones to lob balls downfield to. Though Denver is solid defensively, you have to figure Julio Jones’ size will give their secondary all kinds of fits. He’s a bad match-up and one that the Falcons can lean on to move the chains come Sunday. Let’s not forget about what Kelvin Benjamin’s length did to this secondary back in Week 1.
On the ground, the Falcons should continue rolling right along. Their two-headed monster of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman have been exceptional working alongside one another this season, and the run game has been softer than usual for the Broncos this year. The middle of their D-line has been exploited at times, and look for Atlanta to use this to control tempo and keep the clock moving, if need be. As good as the Denver defense is, Atlanta can burn teams in a multitude of ways, and look for that success to continue on the road this week.
With Trevor Siemian out for this week, all attention will turn to Paxton Lynch under centre. He has shown great promise, but it might be a little too soon for the youngster in what is a pretty big game, against a good team. Atlanta has made a lot of changes to their defense in recent years, and they seem to have paid off somewhat in the early stretches of 2016. Their secondary is vastly improved and has played opposing receivers very tough so far. They have a solid group that should be able to really limit the effectiveness of Thomas and Sanders. Even though they don’t generate much pressure up front, their coverage in the secondary could be enough to keep the Broncos from moving the chains with regularity.
The spread in this game has really dropped over the course of the week – moving from 6 to 4.5/4 at some books. With Lynch coming in, there’s a ton of uncertainty, and don’t be surprised if an improved Falcons’ stop unit makes things quite difficult on the rookie. Atlanta can move the ball right now on anybody, and look for that to continue. While going into Mile High and winning outright will be tough, don’t be surprised to see Atlanta keep things very close throughout this contest. A few weeks back, Denver struggled with a listless Colts team at home, and a much better Atlanta side should be knocking on the door for the upset come Sunday.
PICK = Falcons +4.5 (-115)