NFL betting lines handicappers looking for a couple of teams with exciting prospects and plenty of motivation for the preseason have an outstanding sports betting choice Friday.
The Atlanta Falcons will host the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason opener for both teams, who are expecting breakout seasons in 2010 and need a good exhibition campaign to set the right tone for the regular season.
Mike Smith has led the Falcons to a level of respectability that they have never had since being founded in 1966. This long time doormat is now expected to challenge the New Orleans Saints for supremacy in the NFC West Division. For the first time in their history the Falcons are coming off consecutive winning seasons and with a healthier group heading into 2010 the playoffs look probable.
Due to injuries the Falcon offense ranked in the middle of the pack in the NFL last year but third year quarterback Matt Ryan has developed into one of the best and won’t be asked to carry the entire burden this year.
Online Sportsbook SBGGlobal.com opened with Atlanta as a 3-point favorite with a total of 34.5
Atlanta will work to improve their defense in preseason play as it ranked 21st for yards allowed and 15th for points permitted.
“We are not satisfied with where we’ve been the last couple of years,” said middle linebacker Chris Lofton. “We want to get to elite status and we are going to do that this year.”
Kansas City won just 4 games last year and was ranked near the bottom of every major statistical category on both sides of the line. But second year head coach Todd Haley has moved in Charlie Weiss to run the offense and Romeo Crennel to coordinate the defense.
Weiss has been turned loose and the Chiefs have been experimenting with the Wild Cat formation during camp although they will stick to a more traditional offense for the most part with quarterback Matt Cassel who will also enter his 2nd year with the Chiefs. Cassel has nowhere to go but up after a 69.9 QB rating last year which was far below his 89.4 mark set with New England in 2008.
Haley was please with off season workouts and the shape of the team.
“There is no magic formula but some of the things that I know are that you have to be in condition and strong to play the best of your ability. These guys got that done in the off-season program and they came back in very good shape.”
A special place of emphasis for the Falcons in preseason will be third downs, which was a problem on both sides of the line last year.