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Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos - 8/1/19 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons
Date & Time Thursday August 1, 2019, 8:00 PM (EDT)
Location
Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Canton, Ohio
The Line
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -2.5 -- Over/Under: 35
TV Channel
NBC
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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons meet Thursday in the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The Denver Broncos should spend most of these preseason games getting quarterback Joe Flacco comfortable with his new team and hoping he can give this side of the ball a much needed spark. The Broncos defense has done enough to keep this team competitive, but a combination of Case Keenum and Trevor Siemian the last three years is the main reason this franchise hasn’t made the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in 2015. Rookie Dalton Risner has a chance to earn a starting spot at right guard, while Noah Fant could provide stability at tight end. Defensively, I’ll be watching the Broncos secondary, as Su'a Cravens and Jamal Carter have a chance to earn playing time by putting on a show throughout glorified scrimmages. The Denver Broncos have won six of their last eight preseason games.

The Atlanta Falcons have a lot of talent and experience on both sides of the ball and with an extra preseason game, you’re probably not going to see a lot of those players in this contest. That means instead of Matt Ryan, expect to see Matt Schaub and Kurt Benkert at the quarterback position. Julio Jones has also been dealing with a minor foot injury and is trying to get a new contract, so you probably won’t see him either. Still, it’s worth watching to see if linebacker Foye Oluokon can permanently steal the job of Duke Riley, while James Carpenter and Jamon Brown fight for a starting guard position. I’ll also be keeping an eye on backup running back, as I’m not sure Ito Smith has done enough to solidify his spot directly behind Devonta Freeman. The Falcons are in a good spot entering the preseason, but there’s some sneaky position battles to watch. The Atlanta Falcons have lost nine of their last 10 preseason games.

The Broncos are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Thursday games, 5-13 ATS in their last 18 road games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. The Falcons are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The under is 3-1-1 in Falcons last 5 Thursday games. The under is 20-8-1 in Broncos last 29 games overall.

The Atlanta Falcons have lost nine of their last 10 preseason games, so I'm not exactly thrilled to see them as a favorite. Teams that also have an extra preseason game usually rest their starters for the entire contest, so that means you'd be laying chalk with Matt Schaub playing majority of this contest. I can see a pick-six already. I focus heavily on quarterback play in preseason games, and while the Broncos don't have experience at the backup position, Drew Lock, Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien were all highly successful college players and should be up for the competition to maybe make a move on the depth chart. Give me the Broncos and the free points.  

Pick:
Denver Broncos +2.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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