Green Bay Packers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS), 8:20 p.m. EST, Week 5 NFL, Sunday, October 9, 2011, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga., TV: NBC
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GB -5.5/ATL +5.5
Over/Under Total: 53.5
Bet the Pack/Dirty Birds game using your credit card at an online sportsbook where it WILL work for deposits and that offers generous sign up bonuses: BetOnline.
Two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks will meet in a rematch of last year’s second-round NFC playoff game when Aaron Rodgers and the defending champion Green Bay Packers travel to the Georgia Dome to play Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in America.
Rodgers and the Packers enter the Sunday night showdown still perfect on the young season, moving to 4-0 with a lopsided, 49-23, victory over the overmatched Denver Broncos last Sunday. Rodgers was a one-man wrecking crew against the Broncos, throwing for 408 yards and four touchdowns while adding two rushing touchdowns of his own in the rout.
At one point it looked like Ryan and the Falcons would also be entering their rematch with the Packers fresh off of a rout last weekend. But after leading the Seattle Seahawks by 17 points early in the second half they were forced to sweat bullets in the final minutes as the Seahawks turned it into a close game, 30-28.
The Seahawks near comeback and breakdowns by the Falcons defense overshadowed the fact that Ryan and the offense were efficient (2-for-2 in Red Zone, 0 turnovers, 0 sacks) in what will hopefully be a good tune-up for the showdown against the reigning Super Bowl champs.
Oddsmakers are still having a hard time finding bettors that want to be against the Packers though, because after releasing the opening point spread with the Packers as 4.5-point favorites the number shot up a point to 5.5 almost instantly. There are even a few offshore sportsbooks listing the Packers as 6-point favorites on the road, a fact that would fire up the Falcons players if head coach Mike Smith is into that kind of motivation.
The over/under total opened at 53 and has experienced a little line movement up to 53.5 or 54 at most sportsbooks.
With Green Bay you have a known commodity on offense. With Rodgers calling the signals for the 5th-ranked offense in the league (429.2 ypg) the Packers do rely on their 5th-ranked pass offense (319.8 ypg) a little more, but with Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and the weapons the Packers have on the perimeter you can understand why they are a little pass heavy at times. But they do have a decent enough running game to keep defenses honest (109.5 ypg – 16th). About the only concern in Green Bay about the offense stems around backup right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and whether the second-year guy from TCU who gave up two sacks last week to Denver’s Von Miller can adjust better in his second start this week (filling in for the injured Bryan Bulaga).
The same could also be said about the Falcons offense, except that Ryan and the Falcons offensive line have only had the Seahawks game last week where they seemed to put everything together. Rookie Julio Jones is a great addition to the Falcons passing game of Tony Gonzales and Roddy White, but running back Michael Turner has yet to get on track (99.8 ypg – 19th) so the Falcons will need to get him going in order to take pressure off Ryan to try and do too much.
Both offenses will face defense that have struggled thus far in 2011.
The Packers will face a Falcons defense that has yet to really put together a solid game. The pieces are there, but they have had issues with giving up big yardage (275.5 ypg passing – 24th) and big plays for scores (26.2 ppg allowed – 27th).
The Falcons will play a Packers defense that is weakened in the secondary due to the loss of safety Nick Collins, and it shows since they are giving up 335.8 yards per game (31st). Green Bay has yet to find an effective pass rusher opposite Clay Mathews too, which is making them play a lot more snaps and helping drop them into the lower half of the league in points allowed (24.2 ppg – 18th).
Of course the NFC second-round playoff game the Packers won last year in the Georgia Dome, 48-21, was not the only game these two teams played last season. The Falcons beat the Packers in the Georgia Dome during the regular season, 20-17. In fact, Atlanta seems to have the Packers number both on the field (6-4 SU since 1991) and at the betting window (7-3 ATS).
Most of the betting trends for this game point in favor of Green Bay. Not only are the Packers 5-1 ATS in their last six road games, but the road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these two.
The Falcons do play the role of underdog well though, going 5-1 ATS in their last six as a home dog. The underdog is also 6-1 ATS in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these two teams.
The over is historically 5-2 in the last seven meetings. The over is also 10-2 in week 5 the last 12 years for the Packers, and its 11-4 the last 15 time the Falcons have been a home dog.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: 53.5 is a TON of points. Gotta go UNDER here.
Bet this game and ALL NFL/College games every week at -105 odds which will save you a crap-load of money: 5Dimes.
Need some help with your handicapping? Our NFL betting tips will help the begineer to novice bettor improve their bottom line.
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?
2016 NFL Predictions - Badger breaks down each division and gives his picks on which teams he thinks will win the AFC and NFC Conferneces (plus Super Bowl winner prediction).
Super Bowl Picks - Everybody here in the Predictem office takes their best preseason shot at predicting the winner Superbowl 50. 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.