Jaguars vs Falcons Preseason Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Covers Spread in Low-Scoring Affair

With preseason coming to a close for both franchises, don't expect to see too much play time for starters. Although both sides will be shallow, we believe Atlanta has more than enough to cover the spread in our NFL preseason picks for Jaguars vs. Falcons.

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2022 8:45 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Feleipe Franks Atlanta Falcons NFL
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The final preseason game for both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons will take place Saturday afternoon, as both franchises look to make their final roster decisions ahead of cutting their squads down to 53 players.

Both teams are planning to rest most — if not all — of their starters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find angles to attack as a bettor.

Let’s break them down in our free NFL preseason betting picks and predictions for Jacksonville Jaguars vs Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, August 27. 

Jaguars vs Falcons odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The line opened at most books with the Falcons laying three and a half points, and while it has varied a bit it’s stayed close to that. Depending on the book, it’s varied between -3.5 and -4.5 and has settled at -4 in most places. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Jaguars vs Falcons predictions

Predictions made on 8/27/2022 at 2:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Jaguars vs Falcons game info

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network

Jaguars at Falcons betting preview


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Betting trend to know

The Jaguars have failed to cover the spread in any of the last six games between these two teams. Find more NFL betting trends for Jaguars vs. Falcons.

Jaguars vs Falcons picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

After a tumultuous season that saw Urban Meyer sent packing just halfway through his first year with the franchise, Doug Pederson has been brought in to try to right the ship. The Jaguars have made the playoffs just once in the past 14 seasons, and have now made the first selection in the NFL Draft in consecutive seasons.

Last year’s top pick — quarterback Trevor Lawrence — has played solid football in his two starts in the preseason. He took care of the ball and did not throw an interception in his 33 attempts, despite not having a stable offensive line nor a true “number one” receiver to target. He’s also been without starting running back James Robinson, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles suffered last season.

Defensively, the Jags have looked much improved this preseason — at least on the first unit. Travon Walker, their first overall pick out of Georgia this year, has been a menace on the defensive line, and is showing why Jacksonville believed he was the right choice when many questioned the selection. The addition of former Falcon linebacker Foye Oluokun has been important as well, as his play and leadership have been evident so far.

Rookie Devin Lloyd is expected to play for the first time, with Pederson saying he will likely see a quarter of action. However, most of the other starters will be sitting on Saturday.

Lawrence will likely not even dress, as the Jaguars re-signed a fourth QB this week just for this game. However, they will be trying to figure out their offensive line situation, having traded a pick to the Packers for Cole Van Lanen just this week.

The Falcons are potentially looking at a QB controversy this season. Veteran Marcus Mariota has already been named the starter for the opening game of the season, but rookie Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati has made huge strides over the past month and has continued to impress. The third-round pick has won over fans, but Atlanta is going to bring him along slowly, according to head coach Arthur Smith. 

First-round pick Drake London has not been the recipient of either QB’s solid play, as he suffered a knee injury in the opening preseason game against the Lions and has yet to return to practice. The Falcons have some big decisions to make regarding their wide receiving corps and will likely use this game to answer them. They’re also looking at a fair amount of decision-making along the offensive line.

One other major decision they have to make is what to do with Feleipe Franks. The former Florida field general has taken more snaps at tight end in camp and practice than he has at QB, and yet he’s not lined up there once in the preseason. In their defeat to the Jets last week, he was very poor with his arm, completing just two of his six attempts for a paltry eight yards. He did salvage the performance a bit with 45 yards rushing on five carries. 

Neither team is expected to run their starters out, so this becomes a question of which team has the better depth. While the Jaguars look markedly better than they did at times last season, they’re still woefully thin at many positions. The line has real question marks, and they’ve struggled to run the ball the entire preseason. They’ve also had problems putting points on the board to end promising drives.

The Falcons have a lot of decisions to make in this game, and many of them revolve around the third-string QB and the receiving room. To that end, Franks is simply not good, and aside from Pitts, they are lacking any playmakers at the moment. However, it’s still more than Jacksonville has to offer from its second string. Atlanta should make enough plays on offense to cover the spread. 

Prediction: Falcons -4 (-110 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

The total for this game is low, and for good reason. With both offenses planning to bench their QBs, it’s going to be up to the likes of Franks for the Falcons and E.J. Perry for the Jaguars to put points on the scoreboard. Perry struggled against the Steelers in their close loss last week, and made some key mistakes down the stretch that cost them points.

Making matters worse for the Jaguars, they cut kicker Ryan Santoso this week after he missed two of his four attempts against Pittsburgh, and claimed rookie James McCourt off waivers from the Chargers. Even if they get into the red zone, the Jags can’t be relied on to score on a consistent basis, which has me leaning towards the Under. 

Prediction: Under 37 (-105 at DraftKings)

Best bet

The market for preseason games tends to be quite limited, and there aren’t many easy choices in this one. Therefore, I keep going back to the QB situation in this game. Perry was poor last week, and Luton was cut for a reason. He’s back for this game, but in his two appearances he threw for 186 yards despite completing 22 passes in 38 attempts. He didn’t throw a single touchdown and had an interception while taking four sacks.

While Franks wasn’t much better in his outing last week against the Jets, he is capable of making plays with his legs — something that can’t be said for the Jaguars. The Falcons have also been able to run the ball successfully in their two games, especially from the QB position.  Jacksonville’s run game this preseason has been anemic, and that’s putting it nicely. 

Atlanta simply has the better depth on defense, and while Franks may not be the greatest passer, he can make plays with his legs. The Jags are void of a playmaker outside of their starters, which is why your best bet is to take the Falcons to do enough to cover the number. 

PickFalcons -4 (-110 at bet365)

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