Broncos vs. Falcons Preseason Pick
The NFL Hall of Fame Game will take place tonight in Canton, Ohio where the Falcons will take on the Broncos at 8:00 p.m. ET. Listed as a small favorite, will the new-look Broncos cover the point spread?
Game Snapshot & Odds
Thursday, August 1, 2019
8:00 p.m. ET, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
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Public Betting Trends
Our NFL Football Public Betting Chart page shows that as of this writing, 58% of the betting tickets for tonight’s game are on the Broncos to cover the 2.5-point spread versus the Falcons.
Denver Broncos Fantasy Spin
In discussing second-round QB Drew Lock's development, Broncos coach Vic Fangio said, "He's not a quarterback yet." It's a pretty blunt criticism of the rookie, though Lock always figured to be a work in progress. "He's a hard-throwing pitcher that doesn't know how to pitch yet," said Fangio after Friday's practice. Lock showed a huge arm during his four-year run at Mizzou but was inconsistent and struggled on routine touch throws. Surely the Broncos are hoping he'll take the mantle from Joe Flacco at some point this season, but apparently he's not close to making that leap.
Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Spin
Coach Dan Quinn said Julio Jones (foot) is 10-14 days away from being fully cleared to practice. There's obviously no rush here. Jones will be ready in plenty of time for Week 1 and likely won't play much, if at all, in the preseason. The 30-year-old enters the year as an upper-echelon WR1 for fantasy purposes. Jones has missed just three games in the last five seasons, leading the league in receiving twice in that span.
NFL Betting Trends
The Broncos are 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 games played on Thursday but are 5-13 against the number in their last 18 road games.
The Falcons have failed to cover in six of their last eight games dating back to last season.
Handicapping NFL preseason games starts and ends with motivation for me. How motivated will the Falcons be to win tonight? Jones won’t play at all during the preseason and if Matt Ryan suits up tonight, he’s likely to only see a series or two before turning the game over to Matt Schaub and Kurt Benkert. Atlanta’s 2018 season was ruined by injuries to several key defenders, so reaching the regular season healthy is the only thing on Quinn and his coaching staff’s mind. On the other side, the Broncos have a new head coach in Vic Fangio and a new quarterback in Joe Flacco. While Flacco might not play much either, new coaches tend to treat preseason as their first opportunity to prove to the front office and the fan base that they’re capable of winning. Thus, I believe Denver will be significantly more motivated than Atlanta tonight, and the Broncos to cover as a small favorite over the Falcons.
The Pick: Denver Broncos -2.5