Atlanta Falcons (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-8 SU, 4-7-1 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 11th 2016 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, CA
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL -6 / LA +6
Over/Under Total: 45
This Sunday at 4:25pm we have an NFC game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams. Atlanta comes in technically leading the NFC South with a 7-5 record although they are tied with Tampa Bay with that record. The Rams enter this contest at 4-8 and third place in the NFC West division. The Falcons need a win to keep pace not only in the NFC South but also the NFC Wild Card race just in case they stumble and lose the division. The Rams are in all honesty playing for pride and hoping to be the spoiler to Atlanta’s playoff hopes.
The Falcons come into this game as a six point road favorite over the Rams and the total points are set at 45 combined. On the season, Atlanta is 7-5 against the point spreads and the Rams are 4-7-1. As of Tuesday night an insane amount of money was on the Falcons and if this keeps up, this point spread could go up to 7.5 or 8 by kickoff on Sunday. The total points which I stated was set at 45 appears to be right on the money seeing as how 53% have this game going over and 47% like the under.
The Falcons are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Atlanta took the lead by one point on Sunday with less than five minutes left in the game and Matt Ryan on the two point conversion threw a “pick two” to Eric Berry which put the Chiefs back on top right after the Atlanta score. The Chiefs held on to win 29-28. The Falcons are still leading the NFC South due to tie breakers but that win was much needed. This weekend in LA, there is no margin of error for the Falcons. Atlanta has the best offense in the NFL and although their defense is getting better each week, it is still their weak spot. What many do not realize though about the Chiefs game is that the Falcons defense technically only gave up 13 points. Seven of those points came off an Eric Berry pick six, another seven was on a fake punt that went for a touchdown, and of course two points was the final score that I mentioned earlier…another great play by Eric Berry. Matt Ryan must protect the ball better this weekend. Not that LA has a great defense, but their D is what keeps them somewhat competitive, even in their losses.
The Los Angeles defense is ranked right in the middle of the NFL allowing 21 points per game. The problem with the Rams is their offense which is bad and when I say bad, that is a huge understatement. It is looking more and more like the number one draft pick, Jared Goff, was not the right pick. Of course you have to give the kid time to learn the playbook and get adjusted to the league, but in my opinion, he just is not NFL starter material. The Rams are dead last in the NFL in scoring, they rank 29th in passing offense, and rank 30th in rushing. They do have a talent at running back in Todd Gurley, the only problem is that with a non existent pass game, defenses are able to stack the box and shut Gurley down. This is just a bad offense.
This weekend, I do not see the Rams being much trouble for Atlanta. The Falcons have actually faired better on the road this season than they have in the Georgia Dome, so travel is not factor in my opinion. Also, it is easier for a team to travel east to west than it is to travel west to east when playing at 1:00pm or 4:00pm. The Falcons are coming into this game on a mission…get in and get out with a win. Not only is getting a win the mission, but getting out with no injuries. Atlanta is already missing Desmond Trufant and now there is word that Julio Jones as well as offensive lineman, Jake Matthews could be out for Sunday. Even so, with them being out I think the Falcons get this win but the six points is kind of interesting to me.
Much of the public is on Atlanta and just like I said last week in my prediction that we would not cover against Kansas City, I hate picking my team. I think again that the Falcons will get the win but for some reason I just do not like the six point spread. Yes I think the Falcons are much better than LA but something tells me with the injuries, etc, that this game will not be as easy as it should. Atlanta will get a hard fought 23-18 win in LA.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE LA RAMS +6 POINTS
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