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Falcons Packers Spread Line and Predictions NFL Playoffs

Saturdays Divisional-round playoff contest between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons is, without a doubt, the marquee match-up in the NFC this week. In a game that many feel features the top two teams in the NFC, we’re going to get a look at the hottest defense in the league against perhaps the most balanced attack. on Rodgers just notched his first playoff victory, a year after losing at Arizona in his first postseason start. Now Matt Ryan will try to do the same after falling short against the Cardinals as a rookie two years ago. Green Bay has already been to Atlanta this year and lost, 20-17, but that’s the norm against Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who is 20-2 at home. There is little doubt this rematch in Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game will be as tough a matchup as the Falcons could face in the postseason, kickoff slated for 8:30 PM EST Saturday night.

Spread and Betting Line Comparison Chart:

Betting Site
Spread
Over/Under Line
Visit Site
BetED.com
Falcons -2 (-110)
43.5
Sportsbook.com
Falcons -1.5 (-110)
43.5
Bodog.com
Falcons -1.5 (-110)
44.5

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After an impressive 21-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the playoffs, the Packers have to play the road team once again, this time in Atlanta against the 13-3 Falcons. The Packers are playing some of their best ball lately, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been nearly flawless, throwing eight touchdowns to one interception in the last three games. The defense seems to be its strongest of the season, and I could see the unit giving Matt Ryan and the Falcons some trouble. The good news for the Pack is the Falcons showed they can indeed be beat in the second half of the season, losing 17-14 in Week 16 to the New Orleans Saints. Green Bay is ranked No. 18 against the run largely because of the injuries up front on defense. The Packers have a blitz-scheming defense and can occasionally get caught in a pressure call when a run play is called. They did a nice job against LeSean McCoy last week, but he’s a quick back who had only 12 carries. When the Packers lost running back Ryan Grant in the season opener, they basically lost their entire rushing attack, which plummeted to No. 24 in the NFL. Along comes rookie James Starks last week for 23 carries and 123 yards, and the Packers suddenly have balance. Atlanta is an underrated rush defense that finished 10th in the NFL. The last time these teams met, Rodgers was the leading Packers rusher. Atlanta was 5-2 this year when opposing teams rushed for more than 100 yards, and the Falcons will be willing to let Starks have some production before they give up their pass defense with Rodgers and those terrific receivers. Rodgers threw for 344 yards last time, and if it weren’t for his first-half fumble that led to a momentum-changing touchdown for the Falcons, Green Bay might have won the game.

The Falcons are sitting pretty and all rested up after their week off during the wildcard round. Atlanta mowed down their slate of games this year and have proven that they are in fact the real deal. Atlanta is going to give Turner 20 to 25 carries in this game. He had three runs over 10 yards in the last game. The problem Green Bay faces is when tight end Tony Gonzalez flexes his alignment and challenges the Packers’ front seven to loosen up, which can create running lanes for Turner. The Packers have to deal with wide receiver Roddy White, who had a league-leading 115 receptions this year and is targeted more than 11 times a game. The Packers will need Woodson to handle White, but expect the Falcons to throw to him more than the seven times they did in the first matchup. Atlanta finished the season with the NFL’s 15th ranked passing offense and the 12th best rushing offense. The offense was all about synergy between the run game and the passing game. Michael Turner was the most effective all around Falcon this season – his rushing set the stage for what the Falcons do. He had 110 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting and will be leaned heavily upon once again despite Green Bay’s super run defense. The passing game counts on Turner to open things up down field for Matt Ryan and his Stud receivers. Roddy White is the go-to guy and Tony Gonzalez is there as a quality outlet. It will be interesting to see how Matt Ryan and Michael Turner handle the relentless Green Bay defense. The Atlanta defense is nothing to write home about. They are 22nd in the NFL against the pass and 20th versus the run. The Atlanta Falcons are home – right where they want to be, right where Matt Ryan has only lost twice in his first three seasons. The Falcons are a well-balanced team that hopes to keep their home momentum going throughout the playoffs.

Packers vs Falcons Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Green Bay Packers +2
@ Atlanta Falcons -2

Game Total Line:

Over (-110)
43.5
Under (-110)

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Packers vs Falcons Prediction for Divisional Round Weekend:

Game Total Prediction (TOP PLAY) – Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan are arguably the most promising young, up and coming stars in the NFL and they have yet to be truly acknowledged for their talent. They have both led explosive offenses this year and most of the offense has been hinged on their arms. We hit on the Packers stymieing the Eagles offense last week with their aggressive approach to containing Michael Vick, but I believe we are in for a much different story come Saturday night. Minus a consistent running threat, the Packers have been forced to rely as much as ever on the throwing arm of Pro Bowler Aaron Rodgers. And while they sometimes go through stretches of ineffectiveness, the last few weeks have been spectacular displays of offensive prowess. Even though teams know it’s coming, they haven’t been able to stop the Pack’s passing attack. The reason? Aaron Rodgers might be the best in the game right now. The total has gone OVER in four of their last five meetings and the Packers have gone OVER in 65% of their divisional round games since 1992. The OVER has hit 7-2-2 in the Georgia Dome in the last 11 games overall. The OVER is 5-2-2 in Atlanta the last 9 vs. NFC. The total has gone OVER in 5 of Green Bay’s last 7 games when playing Atlanta. The Falcons are punishing in the Georgia Dome and with the threat of inclement weather a non-factor it gives the favor to the OVER in most occasions. I expect Matt Ryan and Michael Turner to have sensational days, and while it may take the Falcons a couple of drives to get back in to the swing of things, I believe Atlanta will score some points. We may be in for one of the highest scoring performances of this years postseason, so sit back and watch the airways open. We will consider the Packers and Falcons entering into a shootout in the Peach State.

Top Play Prediction = OVER 43.5 Total Points

Spread Prediction – How fitting would it be that the year Brett Favre leaves the game for good (well probably) Aaron Rodgers leads the Pack to a Superbowl. The Cal product has all of the intangibles and he is being forced to throw the ball 73% of the time due to an absent rushing game. When you compare these two teams side by side, you have to give the edge to the Falcons at running back, offensive line, special teams, and coaching. But, in my opinion, that’s about it. I’d give a slight edge to the Pack at quarterback and although the Falcons have Roddy White at receiver, the Packers’ receiving corps are deeper and better overall. Green Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games and have the momentum coming in after their wildcard victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Atlanta has had an up-and-down defensive year, and they have a propensity to give up huge passing numbers. The Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against Atlanta, but the road team and underdog are each 5-0 ATS in the last five games between these two. So, with that in mind, I am leaning toward the Packers going into Atlanta and pulling off the upset this weekend. Both teams are on a roll, but the Packers simply seem to be a team on a mission right now. Consider the Packers pulling out a close one here and creeping one step closer to the games greatest stage. Cheers!

Prediction = Packers +2

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