The only real 'out' for the atheist in regards to the creation of the universe is to believe either the universe is eternal or it came into existence uncaused. Both have their problems.
As for an eternal universe, I think the constantly expanding universe is one of the more well documented and well supported ideas in modern physics. I think holding to a static universe at this point in time would be not in line with the facts. You can even call it unscientific.
As for it being uncaused the problem that youhave then is that concepts of causality are so ingrained into our universe that they are beyond every day. You dont ever see something coming of nothing. We as people have the ability to cause events, but still the concept of of nothing comes nothing is now truer than ever.
Even when the magician pulls a rabit from a hat, the magician is still the cause of this rabbit spontanous existence. If causality even holds to the realms of fantasy than it shows you how ingrained it is in our existence.
You may say that just because the physical universe operates under causality does not mean that universe was created under it, to that I would say what evidence could you possibly have to the contrary? I would rather hedge my bets with the universe as I see it every day.
So then if you find an eternal universe impossible. You also dont have enough faith to believe in uncaused events, then I fear you are left with the unavoidable coclusion that the universe does have a cause.