Green Bay Packers
(11-6, 10-7 ATS)
(13-3, 11-5 ATS)
Saturday night is going to be one of the most interesting nights of the year in NFL betting action. In spite of the fact that the Green Bay Packers are the No. 6 seed in the NFC and the Atlanta Falcons are the No. 1, there is a lot of speculation that this is the most likely upset of the NFL betting weekend when the two teams meet in the Georgia Dome.
There’s a new hero right now in Title Town, and it is RB James Starks. The rushing game has been down for the majority of the year this year for the Packers, and all of a sudden, a man that had played in just three games in his rookie campaign busted onto the scene against the Philadelphia Eagles in the biggest game of the year and rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries. It was amazing to think that QB Aaron Rodgers only threw for 180 yards in a winning game in the playoffs, but that’s exactly what happened against Philly. WR Greg Jennings only had one catch in the entire game, also something very uncharacteristic. However, Rodgers threw three TDs to three different receivers and did a fantastic job of managing the game. The defense for Green Bay did give up a bunch of yards to QB Michael Vick and company, but when push came to shove, it only allowed 16 points. DB Tramon Williams had the only turnover on the day, and it came at a great time with just 33 seconds left to seal up the victory.
Meanwhile, the Falcons have been sitting and waiting for this game, as they earned the top seed in the NFC playoffs. They are going to have to be beaten at the Georgia Dome by an NFC foe if they are to be kept out of the Super Bowl this year. That’s something that QB Matt Ryan has only had happen to him twice in his career, and just once by an opponent from this conference. Ryan had an MVP type of season this year, throwing for 3,705 yards and 28 TDs against just nine picks, but he had a lot of help to do it in the form of RB Michael Turner and WR Roddy White. White was Ryan’s top target on the year, and he was the top receiver in the NFL to boot. He had an NFL best 115 receptions for 1,389 yards and 10 trips to the end zone. Turner led the league in carries with 334, and he turned those touches into 1,371 yards and a dozen scores. All three, along with TE Tony Gonzalez are going to the Pro Bowl this year. The surefire Hall of Fame tight end caught 70 passes for 656 yards and six TDs in 2010.
It just seems awfully ridiculous that the No. 1 seed in the conference is only laying 2.5 points at home against the last team into the dance. Green Bay might be a thorn in Atlanta’s side for this entire game, but when push comes to shove, it is the Falcons that are going to be flying high.
NFL Divisional Round Free Pick: Atlanta Falcons -2.5