Atlanta Falcons Playoff Chances September 2023: Tracking the Falcons Playoff Picture

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane
Falcons QB Desmond Ridder

Key Takeaways:

  • πŸ“Š The Falcons playoff chances are 46.3%, based on odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.
  • ⭐️ The Falcons have a 31.7% chance to win the division, according to odds from DraftKings Sportsbook. The Falcons have the second-best chances to win the NFC South, only behind the New Orleans Saints, who have a 45.5% chance to win the division.
  • πŸ† The Falcons Super Bowl XLVIII odds are +6000, giving them a 1.6% chance to win.

The Atlanta Falcons have gone 7-10 in each of the last two NFL seasons and missed the playoffs in each of the last five. Could 2023 be the year things turn a corner? As head coach Arthur Smith enters his second season with the team, there are reasons to believe the Falcons chances at playoff contention are better than they've been in some time.

The Falcons Super Bowl odds imply a 1.5% chance for them to win it all, currently tied with several other teams including the Rams, Commanders, Patriots, and Raiders, among others. 

Below, I'll break down the Falcons playoff chances for the 2023 NFL season and a potential path to the postseason.

What are the Falcons Playoff Chances?

The Falcons playoff chances are 43.5% per DraftKings Sportsbook. Let's take a look at the rest of their postseason odds.

⭐ Falcons Playoff Chances46.3% Chance
❌ Falcons Miss Playoffs53.7% Chance
πŸ‘‘ Falcons Win Super Bowl1.6% Chance
πŸ† Falcons Win NFC3.4% Chance
πŸ”₯ Falcons Win NFC South31.7% Chance
πŸ—½ New York Times Postseason SimulatorNot Available Yet
🏈 ESPN Football Power Index (FPI)-3.2
βœ… Data Verified by ExpertSeptember 26, 2023

I calculated the Falcons playoff chances by converting their odds to make the postseason into an implied probability. This is a fancy way of saying I've converted the Falcons odds to make the playoffs into a percentage of how likely the outcome is to happen. Odds are available at all major sportsbooks, including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, and more.

For more information on the Falcons playoff chances, we can also reference tools like the New York Times Postseason Simulator, which is not yet live for 2023, and ESPN's Football Power Index, which assigns a total score to each team based on the ratings of their offense, defense, and special teams (the higher the number, the better). Unfortunately, the Falcons currently rank 26th in the league with their -3.2 FPI coming out of free agency and the draft, an indication that even their most valuable offseason additions might not be enough to tip the scales.

Falcons Week-by-Week Playoff Chances

Following the completion of OTAs, the Falcons odds to make the playoffs imply a 46.3% chance to make the postseason.

Be sure to bookmark this article, as I'll continue updating the Falcons playoff chances after each matchup this season, starting in Week 1.

Falcons Schedule and Betting Lines

The Falcons schedule was released in May 2023, and DraftKings Sportsbook has assigned game lines Atlanta's upcoming matchups this season. Here's a look at where point spreads and moneylines currently stand for the Falcons:

πŸ“… Week 1 vs. Carolina Panthers🏈 Falcons -3, ML -155
πŸ“… Week 2 vs. Green Bay Packers🏈 Falcons -1, ML -115
πŸ“… Week 3 @ Detroit Lions🏈 Falcons +5, ML +180
πŸ“… Week 4 @ Jacksonville Jaguars🏈 Falcons +4, ML +155
πŸ“… Week 5 vs. Houston Texans🏈 Falcons -3, ML -165
πŸ“… Week 6 vs. Washington Commanders🏈 TBD
πŸ“… Week 7 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers🏈 Falcons -1, ML -115
πŸ“… Week 8 @ Tennessee Titans🏈 Falcons +1, ML -105
πŸ“… Week 9 vs. Minnesota Vikings🏈 Falcons +1, ML -105
πŸ“… Week 10 @ Arizona Cardinals🏈 Falcons -2.5, ML -140
πŸ“… Week 11🏈 BYE
πŸ“… Week 12 vs. New Orleans Saints🏈 Falcons +1, ML -115
πŸ“… Week 13 @ New York Jets🏈 Falcons +6.5, ML +230
πŸ“… Week 14 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers🏈 Falcons -3, ML -155
πŸ“… Week 15 @ Carolina Panthers🏈 Falcons +1, ML -105
πŸ“… Week 16 vs. Indianapolis Colts🏈 Falcons -2.5, ML -130
πŸ“… Week 17 @ Chicago Bears🏈 Falcons +2, ML +105
πŸ“… Week 18 @ New Orleans Saints🏈 Falcons +2.5, ML +125
βœ… Data Verified by ExpertSeptember 26, 2023

It should be no surprise that the Atlanta Falcons rank second 2023 NFL Strength of Schedule considering their position in the NFC South. Having two opportunities to face each team in the NFC South (all of which bear their own uncertainties ahead of the season) doesn't hurt their cause. Undoubtedly, winning their division will be their most likely opportunity to make the playoffs, so their matchups against other NFC South rivals (Saints, Panthers, Buccaneers) will be the ones to watch closely through the season.

Atlanta Falcons Playoff Chances: Key Offseason Updates September 2023

Here's what Falcons fans and bettors need to know about the team's 2023 offseason:

  • πŸ“† June 7: Falcons primary punt returner Avery Williams tears his ACL in OTAs, officially declared out for the 2023 NFL Season.
  • πŸ“† April 27-29: The Falcons draft Texas RB Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick β€” widely regarded as the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. Other Falcons draft picks in 2023 include G Matthew Bergeron (drafted 38th overall), EDGE Zach Harrison (78th), CB Clark Phillips (113th), S DeMarco Hellams (224th), and G Jovaughn Gwyn (225th).
  • πŸ“† March 28: Head coach Arthur Smith names Desmond Ridder as the team's intended starting quarterback for the 2023 NFL season.
  • πŸ“† March 14: The Falcons sign QB Taylor Henicke to a two-year contract with $6.3 million in guarantees.
  • πŸ“† February 28: Marcus Mariota, who entered the 2022 NFL season as the Falcons starting quarterback, is released.
  • πŸ“† January 30: The Falcons hired veteran Jerry Grey as their assistant head coach, another sign of the team's emphasis on improving the defense. Grey had spent the past three seasons as the defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator with the Green Bay Packers.
  • πŸ“† January 27: Ryan Nielson is hired as the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator. Nielson spent the 2022 NFL season with the New Orleans Saints as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.

Bookmark this article and check back throughout the offseason as we continue to highlight breaking news on the Atlanta Falcons and how it will impact their chances to make the playoffs in the 2023 NFL season.

Key Contributors Toward Falcons Playoff Chances

The Atlanta Falcons have a number of big-time playmakers that could impact their playoff chances, but they need it all to come together in perfect harmony under second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder. Luckily, he'll be playing with some of the most talented players in the league at their respective positions on the offense, including rookie RB Bijan Robinson, WR Drake London, and TE Kyle Pitts.

Undoubtedly, most eyes will be on rookie running back Bijan Robinson this season after the team made the somewhat surprising investment in a position that didn't feel like an urgent need. Robinson is currently the odds-favorite to win 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at +250, pointing to a confidence that his well-rounded skillset will translate immediately at the professional level.

Don't sleep on WR Drake London, either. Though he produced behind fellow rookies Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave in the 2022 NFL season, he showed a very viable connection with Ridder in their four games played together. In Weeks 14-18, London had 11 receptions for 167 receiving yards (0 TDs) on a whopping 32.7% target share, which tied Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase to lead all wide receivers in that span. Despite the lack of scoring, London showed promise in his opportunities with Ridder under center, which should encourage Falcons fans of the things to come in his second season as a pro.

Perhaps the biggest question is what to expect from TE Kyle Pitts in 2023, following a relatively disappointing sophomore campaign that was cut short due to injury. After becoming just the second rookie tight end in NFL history to exceed 1,000 receiving yards, Pitts posted just 356 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 10 games played in 2022. His odds to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year are at +5000, with Bills safety Damar Hamlin as the overwhelming favorite at -500.

Where Can I Bet on the Falcons to Make the Playoffs?

You can bet on the Falcons to make the playoffs on most major Georgia sportsbook apps, including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM Sportsbook, among others. Keep in mind that odds will vary from site to site and continue to fluctuate with Falcons news and injury updates, which could impact their chances to remain in playoff contention.

None of the major Georgia sportsbooks noted above are projecting the Atlanta Falcons to make the playoffs, based the on implied probability of their odds.

It's worth noting, however, that sports betting is currently not legalized in Georgia, so you'd have to be in a nearby state like Tennessee to place a wager on the Falcons.

Looking Ahead: Falcons Playoff Picture

The Atlanta Falcons finished with a 7-10 record in Arthur Smith's first season with the team. Despite their losing record, the Falcons gave fans plenty of reasons to be hopeful, as one of the league's top rushing offenses.

Their efforts, led by rookie RB Tyler Allgeier, produced 2,718 total rushing yards on the season (3rd-most in the NFL), averaging 4.9 yards per attempt (4th-most). Allgeier's 1,035 rushing yards marked the most by a rookie running back in Falcons franchise history. Unfortunately, he's unlikely to hold that record for long, with incoming rookie RB Bijan Robinson ready to make his mark.

Where the offense will need to take its biggest step is in the passing game, with second-year QB Desmond Ridder set to open the season as the Atlanta Falcons starter. Ridder was the second QB selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, behind only Kenny Pickett (Steelers), and was drafted by the Falcons with the No. 74 overall pick in the third round. Ridder played most of the season behind veteran QB Marcus Mariota, but following a season-ending injury to Mariota, got his first career start against the New Orleans Saints. Ridder closed out the season with a 2-2 record, having thrown for a total of 708 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions over four games.

By all accounts, HC Smith has expressed confidence in Ridder as a starter, however, and it can't be understated that he's working with some elite weapons to set him up for success in his second season. Among them are second-year WR Drake London (drafted No. 8 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft) and TE Kyle Pitts, who will look to bounce back from an injury-riddled sophomore season.

The more underrated aspect of the Atlanta Falcons might just be their defense. Key offseason additions include former Bengals safety Jessie Bates III and former Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell, who should slot in as immediate difference makers at their respective positions. They also traded for cornerback Jeff Okudah (Lions) for further help in the secondary, which ranked 9th in pass yards allowed last season. Okudah hasn't lived up to the hype since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2020 but still has plenty of potential to develop into a serviceable asset, just 24 years old headed into the season.

Do the Falcons Have a Chance to Make the Playoffs?

Yes, technically the Falcons have a chance to make the playoffs because the season hasn't started. However, the Falcons are projected to miss the postseason at this point, with current odds pointing at a 43.5% chance to make the playoffs. The bright spot for the Atlanta Falcons is their position in a less-than-competitive NFC South, which does help their playoff chances, as the division is wide open with plenty of questions at this point.

Are the Falcons Out of Playoffs?

No, the Atlanta Falcons are not out of the playoffs because the season hasn't started yet. The Falcons kick off the 2023 regular season Sunday, September 10, against one of their NFC South rivals, the Carolina Panthers.

Where Do the Falcons Rank in the NFC South?

Prior to the start of the 2023 NFL season, the Falcons have the second-best odds to win the NFC South at with odds at +215, per DraftKings, behind the New Orleans Saints, who are currently favored at +120.

Their biggest competitor to win the division will likely be the Saints, who signed QB Derek Carr to a four-year, $150 million contract as a free agent this offseason. Saints fans are hopeful that Carr will be the answer to their own woes, having looked for answers at quarterback in all of the wrong places (Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill).

The Atlanta Falcons competition in the NFC South outside of the Saints is generally less daunting. The Carolina Panthers (+400 to win the division) made plenty of offseason moves, including drafting Alabama QB Bryce Young No. 1 overall, but questions remain as to what kind of impact he'll make in his rookie season. The Panthers have, arguably, one of the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL, with 32-year-old Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark (who's struggled to stay healthy) and third-year receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., who totaled just 28 catches for 490 receiving yards last year despite ample opportunity.

The Buccaneers have their own questions to sort through as well, sitting with the highest odds to win the NFC South at +800. The biggest question remains at the quarterback position. The team lost QB Tom Brady in retirement (again) this offseason and have since signed former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield to the squad to compete with Kyle Trask for the starting job. If reports out of OTAs are any indication, however, it seems that neither of them has taken a demonstrable lead over the other for the starting job.

Where Do the Falcons Rank in the NFC Playoff Standings?

Based on the Falcons current odds to win the NFC (+2800), we can glean a general understanding of how they are ranking among other teams. Their odds to win the conference rank 9th among the 16 teams in the NFC. That means that if we were to use these odds to project their standing at the end of the regular season, they'd be out of playoff contention by virtue of missing the Wild Card round.

Where Do the Falcons Rank in the NFC Wild-Card Race?

The good news for the Falcons chances at a Wild Card spot is that other similarly-tiered teams, such as the Giants, Packers, and Bears, also each have question marks as to where they could rank in the final 2023 NFL playoff picture. These questions are primarily at the quarterback position, with the development of Daniel Jones, Jordan Love, and Justin Fields, respectively, a key factor in their team's chances to make the playoffs.

Can the Falcons Get the No. 1 Seed?

Yes, the Falcons can technically get the No. 1 seed since the season hasn't started yet. However, it will be a very long and difficult road to get there given the high level of competition atop the NFC, including the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys in particular.

Who to Root for if You’re a Falcons Fan

The Falcons chances to make the playoffs rely almost solely on their ability to win their division. So, if you're a Falcons fan, you're continuing to (as usual) root against your NFC South rivals. The other three teams in the NFC South are the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints.

Falcons Postseason Outlook and Predictions

Though oddsmakers across the major sportsbooks are not high on the Falcons chances to remain in playoff contention through 2023, there are enough question marks with other teams (including those in the NFC South), to easily envision their pathway to the postseason.

Unlike the AFC, which is riddled with depth, the NFC is different. Outside of teams largely considered as consider top contenders (Eagles, 49ers, Cowboys), there aren't many teams that don't have significant question marks ahead of 2023. Because of that, the field of contenders for the NFC's Wild Card spots feels pretty wide open.

Though QB Desmond Ridder wasn't overly productive in his four starts as a rookie, he's shown to be a capable game manager and looked increasingly comfortable in the offense as that four-game span progressed. RB Bijan Robinson on his own can (literally) carry the offense, with second-year RB Tyler Allgeier to round out what might be the NFL's best 1-2 punch at the running back position. Paired with some under-the-radar moves with their defensive personnel and coaching, the vision of HC Arthur Smith seems to be coming to fruition heading into his second year.

The Falcons odds to make the playoffs are at +116, per FanDuel. It's worth noting for those who feel that winning the NFC South as their most probable path to the postseason, that their odds to win the division are at +215 β€” a better value for those who see that as their likely trajectory. Even if the Falcons do make the playoffs, fans should be aware that their chances to win Super Bowl LVIII are slim, with odds to take home the Lombardi at +6000.

Atlanta Falcons Playoffs FAQs


Kate Magdziuk is an NFL betting expert for, focusing on the Atlanta Falcons. She's written for NBC Sports Rotoworld, DraftKings Nation, Gaming Society, and 4for4 Fantasy Football. She'll track the Falcons playoff chances and Super Bowl odds, where she'll use her expertise in fantasy football and sports betting to deliver the most up-to-date information available for Georgia bettors.

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