Bob Duff | Fri 12/01/2018 - 06:08 EST

NFL Playoff Picks: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Point Spread

NFL Playoff Picks: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Point Spread
No team in the NFL playoffs was performing better down the stretch than the Atlanta Falcons. The defending NFC champions are 7-2 in their last nine games. They took care of the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams on the road in the wild card round and will look to do the same to the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional playoff round, also on the road.

Falcons Will Soar Above Eagles

My Team's Next MatchAtlanta Falcons

A year ago, they crushed everything in their path with a steamroller of a scoring machine. The Atlanta put up out of this world offensive numbers while rolling to the NFC Championship in 2016-17. This season, the revival that has put the 12-5 Falcons within a win of a return trip to the NFC title game is built around stymieing the opposition into submission.

Atlanta’s defense has carried the day as the team won seven of the last nine games, holding four of their last six opponents – all of them playoff teams – to 17 points or less. This is not good news for the Philadelphia Eagles. The last thing they need to see on the other side of the ball is a ferocious defense. The Eagles rolled to an NFC-best 13-3 record on the shoulders of quarterback Carson Wentz, who threw for 33 touchdowns. But in the four decisions since Wentz suffered a season-ending ACL injury, the Eagles are 2-2, and in their meaningless season-ending home-field loss to Dallas, back-up Nick Foles was so ineffective he was benched in favor of third-stringer Nate Sudfeld.

Can the Eagles utilize home-field advantage and expected sub-zero temperatures to overcome the Falcons? Let’s look at that, with odds supplied courtesy of Bovada.

pha

The oddsmakers have so much faith in the Eagles with Foles under center, they’ve made the visiting Falcons the favorites in this game. It’s the first time in NFL history that a No. 1 seed is a home underdog in the divisional playoff round, and to a No. 6 seed no less. Before he was injured, Wentz was likely passing his way to NFL MVP honors. The Falcons, meanwhile, have last year’s MVP Matt Ryan at the helm, and Ryan will be in search of a share of NFL history.

Ryan has posted a QB rating of 100 or better in five straight playoff games. Hall of famer Joe Montana holds the NFL record with six such games in succession. While the likes of Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman haven’t matched last season’s record pace, they won’t need to in order to topple the Eagles. With the defense doing their job, Atlanta’s offense is only required to be decent and not beat itself and the Falcons will win this game.

Jones (ankle injury) returned to practice Thursday after sitting out two days and the Falcons will go into the game with all of their weaponry intact. He caught nine balls for 94 yards and a TD in Atlanta’s wild card win over the Rams.

The Eagles didn’t record the best record in the conference merely by riding Wentz’s coattails. This team can do some other things, and will need to in order to emerge victorious against the Falcons. Philly suited up the NFL’s fourth-best defense, and stellar work from that unit will be part of a two-pronged approach to success that when the Eagles have the ball, will require plenty of carrying the rock across the ground in the arms of running backs LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi.  

atl

The only chance for Philly is to keep the game close, run a ball-control offense and count on the Falcons faltering down the stretch. They have a rep for doing that, you know. And if that doesn’t work, perhaps the Eagles will throw caution to the wind and throw Sudfeld in the game. Hey, putting an untested QB in charge worked for Alabama in the national championship game against a team from Georgia.

BABB Pick: Atlanta Falcons (-3), under (41.5) Bovada

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : carson wentz , Football , Julio Jones , matt ryan , nfl , nick foles

More articles...
Betting Picks - 17/01/19
Bet On The Lecomte Stakes 2019 
The winter thoroughbred racing season and the continued chase for points and a spot in the 2019 Kentucky Derby kicks into high gear this Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. The Louisiana track hosts the running of the $200,000 (G3) Lecomte Stakes, and the race has drawn a field of 14. They'll be asked to run just over one mile on the Fair Grounds dirt track.
Betting Picks - 14/01/19
NFL Conference Finals 2019: Will The Saints Go Marching On? 
The form charts held through the NFL Divisional Playoff Round, with all four home teams who drew the benefit of the bye week advancing to the conference final games. Should you ride the home favorites with your NFL picks in this round, or are there visitors capable of upsetting the NFL odds and coming through? In both the AFC and NFC, the home team has won the last five conference championship games.
Betting Picks - 14/01/19
The 2020 US Election: Can Anyone Beat Trump The Donald? 
The passage of the November mid-terms and the opening of the 116th U.S. Congress has made it abundantly clear - the next election cycle, which will include the 2020 Presidential election, is officially underway in the United States. Already, Senator Elizabeth Warren has declared her candicacy for the 2020 Democratic Party Presidential nomination and the floogates are sure to open soon with other hopefuls throwing their proverbial hats into the ring.
Betting Picks - 10/01/19
World Surf League 2019 Futures: Who Will Be Crowned Champion? 
The 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour schedule has been announced and sees the men’s tour head to 11 exotic destinations and the women visit 10 locations between April and December.

Surfing betting is extremely fun and can be profitable if you know which surfers to bet on. In the women’s WSL tour it will be Stephanie Gilmore who goes into the competition as the overall favorite with Gabriel Medina looking to secure back-to-back titles in the men’s championship.