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As summer is set to begin in just a few short weeks, the 2020 NFL season is expected to take place albeit with some (hopefully) minor adjustments. Fans in attendance week one are increasingly beginning to seem like a long shot, but with the right protocols in place, at a minimum, a modified season seems reasonable to expect.
With at least minor adjustments all but guaranteed, sportsbooks haven’t blinked in offering a plethora of options for sports bettors to get down in the future markets as the season rapidly approaches. Out friends over at FanDuel are even offering odds on every team and their ability to make the playoffs, with the offering of a yes/no available on every single one of them.
While all those to be expected based on last season and this offseason’s moves, there’s one team at over 2 to 1 odds that I have my eye on.
Best Bet to Make the NFC Playoffs
Since entering the league in 2008 and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season for the Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan has spoiled this fan base more than they likely realize. In his 12 seasons under center, Ryan has missed the postseason six times, including the last two which saw the Falcons finish 7-9 in both.
Sensing the end is within earshot, the Falcons went out this season and acquired former Offensive Player of the Year in running back Todd Gurley. Confident that they found their WR2 in the 2018 draft in Calvin Ridley, the Falcons dealt wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick.
Speaking of the draft, the Falcons used their first-round pick last month to bring in a cornerback in AJ Terrell who has the kind of talent to come in right away and make an impact at a position they’re in desperate need of improvement.
Looking across the division for the Falcons, and I see a division ripe with overvalued teams. For starters, I see the Buccaneers in a similar light as the 2019 Browns; overhyped and by nature, overvalued. For the clear division favorite Saints, another season brought another postseason disappointment, and quarterback Drew Brees seemingly already has one foot out the door in signing a post-career deal to broadcast for ESPN. In Carolina, the Panthers welcome in first-year head coach Matt Rhule who while I see as a good hire long term, faces nearly impossible odds in succeeding in year one.
With an improved offense and defense coming into 2019, Ryan and head coach Dan Quinn are due for a regression in 2020. Additionally, with Quinn’s job on the line should he miss the postseason for a third consecutive season, I see the Falcons competing for the division in what I see as a largely overrated NFC South.