Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1 SU, 3-7 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)
NFL Week 12
Date/Time: Sunday, November 27th, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: Georgia Dome Atlanta, Georgia
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARI +4 / ATL -4
Over/Under Total: 50.5
This Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia, the underachieving Arizona Cardinals will take on the surprise first place team from the NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons. Arizona comes into this game as a very desperate team but on the other hand, the Falcons have no room for error either seeing as how they are just a single game ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South division. Coming down the stretch, this game means a lot to both teams and I expect to see a great one in the Georgia Dome.
The Atlanta Falcons are a four point home favorite at this time and the total points are set at 50.5 combined. Against the spread this season, the Falcons are 6-4 just like their win loss record and if I am correct, the four losses against the spread are the four actual losses for the Falcons in 2016. Arizona came into 2016 as many experts favorite to win the NFC West, and I myself thought they had a legit shot at an NFC Title with a balanced offense and an amazing defense. Things have not panned out for the Cardinals and they sit at 3-7 against the spread.
Not only are the bookmakers showing Atlanta love by having them give up four points but the action has been heavy on the Dirty Birds with 72% of the mid week action on Atlanta to cover. If this trend keeps up, the line could be 5 or 5.5 by kick off. The total points are set at 50.5 and the action is just about even on that line so far.
The Falcons lead the NFC South by a game over the Bucs but they are just a play or two away from being 7-2 and nearly running away with the division. Losses to Seattle and San Diego could have gone either way. The Seattle loss was purely just bad officiating late and the Chargers loss at home was just a flat out choke job. With that said, Atlanta has shown that they can hang with anyone in the NFL and they have the offense to keep up with any defense. The question though is the Atlanta defense. Under Dan Quinn, the defense is much improved. They are finally getting to the quarterback, something Atlanta fans had not seen in about four or five years. They also have some young talent that over the next season or two could potentially have this defense on the map as one of the most physical in the NFC.
There is no need to even discuss the Falcons offense. Everyone knows what the deal. Matt Ryan is looking like an MVP candidate, Julio Jones is a man amongst boys, and Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman (who should return this week) are leading the Falcons to a respected run team as well. Again, this week, DEFENSE IS KEY.
Not that Arizona has a scary offense per se, but we saw the Falcons get ripped apart by the Philadelphia Eagles two Sundays ago and lets be real, if Philly can go for 208 yards on their defense, imagine what David Johnson will do. It is simple. Atlanta must must must stop the Cardinals run and put the pressure on Carson Palmer to win the game with his arm. Palmer is no slouch, we know that, but the Falcons are better suited in a game where both teams are airing it out than letting Arizona control the clock and just run it down their throat.
Both of these teams need a win. Atlanta is coming off of a much needed BYE while Arizona was flat out humiliated by the Minnesota Vikings in a game that I seriously thought the Cardinals had no problem winning. Not only that, but Arizona head coach, Bruce Arians had some health issues this week and at one time thought he would not be on the sideline for this one. It does appear now that Arians will be available and is doing much better. However, it has been a long week for the Cardinals and the Falcons are well rested and at home. This could play a part.
I usually fade my own team or at least more times than not, but this weekend, I really like Atlanta. I think the Falcons get back on track, put up some points, and are able to pull away late in the second half. Do not get me wrong, this is no guarantee. I could see the Cardinals coming in and getting a win, I just really like Atlanta this Sunday.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE FALCONS -4
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