Point spread: New York -3
Total line: 48.5
The NFC fifth-seeded Atlanta Falcons square-off against the fourth-seed New York Giants at MetLife Stadium this Sunday afternoon in a Wildcard Round showdown of this season’s NFL playoffs. The game is set to get underway at 1 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Atlanta rolled over Tampa Bay 45-24 as 10-point home favorites in its final regular season game to run its record to 10-6 straight-up and 7-8-1 against the spread. The total has gone 7-9 in its 16 games this year. It went 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS on the road.
The Falcons are by no means the flashiest team in these playoffs and will need to find better consistency on both sides of the ball as the road team in this matchup. However, the offense did finish the regular season ranked 10th in the NFL in total yards and seventh in scoring, while the defense was ranked 12th in total yards allowed.
New York knows all too well about inconsistent play with a 6-2 SU start that was followed by five losses in its next six games. After salvaging the season with victories over the Jets and Cowboys, it finished the season 9-7 SU (8-7-1 ATS) which was enough to win the NFC East. The total went 8-7-1 in its 16 games.
The up and down play of the Giants can be directly related to the sometimes spectacular and sometimes ugly play of Eli Manning. He was able to engineer a number of fourth-quarter comebacks this season by effortlessly moving the team down the field, but also fell back into the pattern of turning the ball over at the worst possible times. Very simply, his play in this game will have the biggest impact on its outcome.
The Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last five playoff games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games following a SU win. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of their last four playoff games, but has stayed ‘under’ in seven of their last nine games following a SU win.
The Giants are 5-1 ATS in their last six playoff games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of their last five playoff games at home.
The head-to-head trends in this series tend to favor Atlanta as the road team is a perfect 8-0 ATS in the last eight meetings and the Falcons are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games against the Giants. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last seven games overall. The contest should be a close, hard-fought battle to the end, but stick with Atlanta to come out on top as one last comeback attempt by Manning falls just short.
The NFL Pick: Atlanta 31 New York 28
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.