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nfc playoffs greenbay atlanta

What: NFL Divisional Playoff Game
Who: Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
When: Saturday, January 15, 2010, 8:00 PM EST
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta Georgia

Line/Point Spread, Money Line, and Total: Atlanta -2.5 / 43.5 Points. The Money Line is Atlanta -135

Here is really one of the most interesting and hard-to-handicap games of the entire week.  On one hand you have the team with the best record in the NFC playing at home. On the other you have the team that has come into the playoffs on fire and beating anyone they face. The Packers can be compared to The NY Giants of 2007 who came into the playoffs with just a 10-6 record but happen to be “en fuego” and basically would have beaten any team you put in front of them. That is just how sports works. You play well enough through the season to make the playoffs and hope that you catch fire right before they start.

There are stats to back up both sides of this pick.  Matt Ryan is 19-2 all time at home.  Atlanta is 9-1 in their last 10 turf games.  Green Bay when playing in January is 6-4. These are all interesting and mildly relevant stats.  But really it comes down to which game executes on game day, which team is better prepared, which team has the hot hand, and which team makes fewer mistakes.  And for my money, the team that fits all of those bills are the Atlanta Falcons.

In comparison, both team average right around 25 points on offense. Green Bay’s defensive efforts have been better, only allowing about 15 points per contest vs. Atlanta’s 18.  Statistically, the Packers have a better passing attack and the Falcons a better rushing game.  These teams do macthup very well.  Injuries are not a major issue this weekend as both teams’ stars are healthy.

We are taking Atlanta on the money line -135.  We like Atlanta to win and cover but with a close matchup like this it is better to pay the extra vig and rule out the ‘backdoor cover’ or heartbreaking last second field goal win by 1 point.

Team records:
Green Bay: 10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS
Atlanta: 13-3 SU, 11-5 ATS

Green Bay most recently:
When playing in January are 6-4
When playing on turf are 4-6
After being outgained are 6-4
When playing outside the division are 6-4

Atlanta most recently:
When playing in January are 4-6
When playing on turf are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing outside the division are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Green Bay’s last 9 games on the road
Green Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Green Bay’s last 7 games when playing Atlanta
Green Bay is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
Atlanta is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
Atlanta is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
Atlanta is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Green Bay
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta’s last 7 games when playing Green Bay