Green Bay Packers (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (13-3 SU,
11-5 ATS), NFC Divisional Playoffs, 8:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, January
15, 2011, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga., TV: FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: GB +2/ATL -2
Over/Under Total: 45.5
The second game of the NFLís ďRematch SaturdayĒ in the Divisional Playoffs features the NFCís version of another retry, when the Green Bay Packers return to the Georgia Dome for a second time this season for another match against the Atlanta Falcons in a primetime showdown on Fox.
The Pack earned a second chance at Atlanta this weekend after their, 21-16, victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wildcard game in Philly last Sunday. The Packers found a running game with rookie James Starks (23 carries, 123 yards) against the Eagles, and Aaron Rodgers was deadly with play-action resulting in three touchdowns in just 180 yards in the wildcard win on the road.
Now itís back on the road to Atlanta where the Falcons will be rested and waiting, with time to dissect the game film from their, 20-17, victory over the Packers in the Georgia Dome back in late November to try and scheme for another win. The Falcons have essentially had two weeks off counting their 31-10 win over hapless Carolina in the finale, so the Georgia Dome should be loud with anticipation for their first NFC Divisional playoff game in years.
The opening betting line out of Las Vegas listed the Falcons as just 2-point favorites at home in the G-Dome, so even the oddsmakers are anticipating a close game. Most of the early money is coming in on the Packers, causing some offshore sportsbooks to drop the point spread down to Falcons minus 1-point, but thereís still plenty of books still listing the number at 2-points so not everyone has their short-memory sights set on Green Bay.
The over/under total opened at 45.5 and has dropped to 45 at a few sportsbooks, but for the most part the original number is holding allowing you to get the hook if you want it.
Itís surprising to say this, but the role of Starks in the Packers running game has become a big key to this game offensively. Back in week 12 the Packers ran for 77 yards in the game, but 51 of those yards came as Rodgers was scrambling for his life, so the Packers run game was completely non-existent in the earlier loss.
Rodgers still went on to throw for 344 yards, but suffered the first of his two concussions of the season at the end of the game, so the Packers must find a way to keep the Falcons from slapping him around as much as the did in the first game.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan was deadly in the first game, going 24- of-28 in his passing, but the Falcon offense as a whole struggled to just 293 yards of total offense. What proved to be the difference was the run game of Michael Turner, gaining 110 yards on the ground with a score to help grind the ball into field goal range for Matt Bryantís 47-yarder won it with nine seconds left in the game.
The Falcons will need Turner to be the same bowling-pin runner his was in the first meeting, especially now since the Packers got defensive end Cullen Jenkins back last week versus the Eagles to fortify the d-line, to try and duplicate the same results as early and give the Falcons a shot at the NFC title game.
Trying to successfully handicap this game based on the betting trends will be a tough proposition this week, because a lot of them contradict each other.
Did you know... that you can now place parlay wagers, lose some of your picks and still get paid out? These nifty bets are called "progressive parlays" and can be found at Sportbet Sportsbook!
For instance, the Packers are getting the early steam at the window and could be a great pick since the underdog is 5-1 ATS in the head- to-head series between these two teams, and the road team is also an attractive 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. But the Packers are just 1-5 ATS in those same six meetings, including a non-cover as (ironically) 2.5-point underdogs this season, so the one non-cover in those 5-1 ATS numbers is on the Packers.
The Falcons are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games overall and a solid 10-4 ATS as a home favorite in the Georgia Dome where Ryan is something like 18-2 SU in his career. But the pressure is different in the playoffs and the Falcons donít do as well against teams that have a winning record on the road (9-20-1 ATS in L30 home games vs. winning record).
The over/under betting trends contradict too, with the under going 8-1 in Packer road games this year and 5-1 on fieldturf surfaces, while itís the over thatís a perfect 6-0 in the Falcons last six Saturday games and 7-2-2 in the Falcons last 11 games overall.
Badgerís Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Itís tough to beat a team twice in the same building in the same season. Plus, I think the Packers defense is playing better football right now, which is huge in the playoffs. Iím taking the Packers plus the points.
Preseason Picks - Many don't realize that there's good value in NFL preseason picks! They claim "how can you bet on a game when you don't know who is going to play?" Truth be told, many head coaches tell you how much playing time key players will receive prior to the game!
Editor's Picks - Each week our in house pro's tackle the week's card and make predictions on the week's games ATS! Best bets, top plays, premium selections, etc. FREE!
Expert NFL Picks - Free premium plays from the "real" expert football handicappers from around the web. Don't fall for second rate picks from ESPN, the NFL Network, Hank Goldberg or the screaming touts on TV.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We forecast the loudest barking dog of the week. Expect a 60% winning percentage with these plays.
Favorite of the Week Play - We examine "the chalk" and determine the safest bet in which who you should lay the points with. Forecasting winning favorites long term isn't easy, but we've had some pretty good luck with it over the years.
Line Movement Plays - We report all the major line moves from the gridiron and forecast whether it's public money or sharp action causing the move. Who will cover the spread this week? Our line move plays!
NFL Consensus Picks - See what the general public is betting on. We use this info to fade the public to the tune of big profits over the course of the season.
Bookies Picks - Each week, we'll post which side the bookies are on. Please note: These are not OUR picks. We're simply reporting the teams the bookies need to cover the spread in order for them to win. Games receiving equal action on both sides will not be factored into these records.
Office Pool Picks - You asked for it and you got it! Each week, we'll post our predictions to win each game straight up so that you can RULE your pick'em league!
NFL Trends - Don't ever let anybody tell you that the trend is your friend. These picks make great fades which is exactly what we do with them.
NFL Computer Picks - We enter the statistics into the database and the computer crunches the numbers and gives final score predictions. These should be used for entertainment only!
Monday Night Football Picks - The ultimate bailout play. Our MNF picks are golden and have hit 62% or better 3 out of the past 4 years. (Last season was a disaster!) Did we mention that their FREE?
2015 NFL Predictions - Bob makes projections on each team's record (plus Super Bowl winner prediction) and whether or not they'll go over or under their posted season win totals at the sportsbooks.
Super Bowl Picks - Everybody here in the Predictem office takes their best preseason shot at predicting the winner Superbowl 49. Pride is on the line here! Oh, and LOOT too!
5Dimes - Bet your NFL football picks at -105 odds every day of the week! 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Pleasers and huge point buying opportunities as well!
Bovada - Tired of deposit hassles? Bet on football using your credit card at a sportsbook where your Visa CAN and WILL work for deposits! Offers a 50% sign-up bonus up to $250 FREE!
MyBookie - Credit cards work GREAT here! Get a massive 50% bonus up to $1000 in free cash!
Bookmaker - Watch the game for a bit THEN make a wager! Yes! You can jump in after the action has started using their awesome live betting feature! Get a massive 50% bonus up to $300 in FREE bonus cash OR take advantage of their enormous 15% bonus up to $2500 in free cash! The best sportsbook for highrollers!
Super Bowl Betting - We explain all the different types of wagers you can making including point spread bets, totals, moneylines and prop bets. No need to go to Vegas! You can bet the big game online!
Weekly Fantasy Football - If you drafted a crappy team or the injury bug has bit you and wrecked your season, we've got something really cool to turn you on to that will change the way you play fantasy sports forever!
Famous Football Quotes - From the inspirational to the greatest touchdown calls of all time. We've got them!
Pro Football Hall of Fame - A full list of NFL players who have been inducted into the NFL HOF.
The Spread - Offers free NFL football predictions, matchups, stats including both offensive and defensive and more!
Fantasy Football Sites - Get recommendations on where to find weekly updated player news, depth charts and legit websites that offer the best stat and record tracking for your fantasy football league.