The Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons are set to square off in NFL playoff betting action this week at Georgia Dome. But before you make your NFL picks for the big game on Sunday, check out some of the great NFL betting trends that we have for the duel!
Seattle Seahawks Notes: Prior to win the Seahawks took the field on Sunday, home teams went 3-0 SU and ATS in the first round of the playoffs. Of course, favorites also went 3-0 SU and ATS, and at least one of those trends held firm at FedEx Field. Seattle is the only road team to win a game thus far on the road this year in the postseason. QB Russell Wilson was the only one of the three rookie quarterbacks to win in the first round of the playoffs, and he is going to try to become just the third rookie QB to win two playoff games in the same season and the fourth to make it to the conference championship game. Seattle is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in its last six games, and it has now won three straight games and covered all six games against playoff teams this year.
Give the Seahawks credit, as they fought back from down 14-0 against the Washington Redskins before scoring 24 points in a row to put that game away. The club possessed the ball for over 34 minutes and outgained Washington 380-203 on the day. The only concern really is the play of the offensive line, which got QB Russell Wilson sacked five times. Still, Wilson threw for 187 yards and rushed for 67 more. RB Marshawn Lynch rumbled for 132 yards and a TD. The man they call Beast Mode has now rushed for at least 100 yards in five straight games, and he has six TDs in those games.
DE Chris Clemons, one of the team’s starting defensive ends suffered a knee injury during the Wild Card game against the Redskins, but aside from that, the Seahawks got through their first playoff game relatively unscathed. Seattle has been fortunate to stay relatively healthy all year long, a far cry from what this team has been used to in the past.
Atlanta Falcons Notes: Head Coach Mike Smith and QB Matt Ryan have never won a playoff game, and this is going to be the fourth time that they have had a chance to get the job done. The Falcons haven’t won a playoff game since 2004 when QB Michael Vick was calling the shots. This year though, is another chance for the team to shine, and the road to the Super Bowl goes through the Georgia Dome. Atlanta went 7-1 SU, but just 4-4 ATS at home this year. The team didn’t play its best ball down the stretch of the season, knowing that it was beaten by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17 in a game in which the team really played its starters for the full 60 minutes. That was the second loss in a row to a team from the NFC South, and that’s where all three of the defeats came this year. The Falcons did knock off the Denver Broncos this year at home, but that game came quite some time ago, way before QB Peyton Manning and the gang started to roll. They also beat the Washington Redskins on the road, but that too, came before Washington got on the right foot. Aside from that, there were no wins against playoff teams this year, so this becomes a scary proposition for sure, having to beat three solid teams in a row to bring the Lombardi Trophy to the Peach State.
Statistically speaking, there are some concerns for the Falcons for sure. They did win 13 games this year, but they only ranked 29th in the league in rushing and were 24th in the league in total defense. RB Michael Turner, who clearly looks like he is at the very end of his career, only had 803 yards on the ground all season long, and he had just 11 total touchdowns. Matty Ice threw for 4,719 yards and 32 TDs on the season, and he came just short of having three 1,000+ receivers. WR Roddy White and WR Julio Jones both got there, but TE Tony Gonzalez came just shy with 930 yards in spite of the fact that he led the team in receptions with 93. Keep a close eye on RB Jacquizz Rodgers, who finished the year with 764 total yards on offense this year in relief of Turner.
The week off really did well for the Falcons. The club is going to come into this game relatively healthy. We expect to see both S William Moore and DB Chris Owens playing in this game even though they are both listed as questionable this week and were held out of Week 17. DE John Abraham and DB Dunta Robinson both left the Week 17 clash against the Bucs, but both are practicing and should be ready to go as well against the Seahawks.
Head To Head: This is going to be the first time that these two teams have met in the playoffs all-time. It’s the first visit for the Seahawks to the Georgia Dome since 2007. Seattle is leading the all-time series dating back to 1976 8-5, and it is 4-2 in six trips to the Peach State. The Hawks have won three in a row in this series, and they have covered two of the three. Dating back to 1985 though, this series has been split right down the middle. Atlanta is slightly behind from an SU standpoint at 5-6, but it has the edge for bettors at 6-5 ATS.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.