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Atlanta Falcons – NFC Championship Betting Tips

January 20, 2017

The Falcons will play for the final time at the Georgia Dome

The Atlanta Falcons’ high-powered offense has guided them to the NFC Championship game for the first time since the 2012 season.

Matt Ryan continued his outstanding campaign by carving apart the Seattle Seahawks’ defense in the divisional round to bring his side within one game of the Super Bowl.

The Falcons lost to the San Francisco 49ers on home soil in their last experience of the title contest, but will determined to send the Georgia Dome out in style by advancing over the Green Bay Packers.

Breaking Down The Betting Options

Ryan has been brilliant throughout the campaign, throwing 38 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He notched three strikes in the win over the Seahawks and should be able to expose a weakened Packers secondary.

The 31-year-old has been able to move the ball on almost every team in the NFL this season, including the vaunted Denver Broncos defense. That is why the quarterback is the leading contender to win the MVP award for the first time in his career.

He has a strong arsenal of weapons at his disposal and should be able to spread the ball around to his receivers with relative ease. Green Bay have been struck down with a number of injuries in their secondary and will not have the depth of talent to stop the Falcons passing attack.

Therefore backing Ryan to have a big performance would be a smart option, with his odds of -125  to throw for over 319.5 passing yards with Bovada sportsbook. The quarterback should be active in the endzone as well, so taking the over on 2.5 touchdowns at -155 .

Atlanta’s defense were impressive in their win over the Seahawks. After initially allowing Russell Wilson to drive the length of the field and score on their opening possession they held them in check for the majority of the match, but will face a sterner challenge against Aaron Rodgers.

However, they may be able to capitalise on Green Bay’s injuries issues at receiver and pick off Rodgers’ passes, with the quarterback backed at -115  to throw one interception or more.

Should they profit on turnovers from the 33-year-old then the Falcons should be able to close out the victory to advance to the Super Bowl.  Dan Quinn’s men are backed at -190  to claim the win on home soil.

Why The Falcons Could Win

Ryan has been outstanding this term

The Packers have been hit by the injury curse in their secondary leaving them short of quality options to keep Atlanta in check. Even with a full complement of players they would have been hard pressed to stop the Falcons passing game, which ranks behind only behind the New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins in yardage this term.

Ryan has been sensational, but has been aided by the excellent coaching of Kyle Shanahan – who is expected to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. The 31-year-old has spread the ball out efficiently to his wideouts, tight ends and running backs, making life extremely tough on all defenses that have faced his team this season.

Julio Jones is arguably the best receiver in the NFL and has enjoyed a good campaign, although a toe injury has limited his impact in recent weeks. Should he be anywhere near his best then the Packers will have little chance of stopping Quinn’s men as there are too many talented options to cover and Jones cannot be covered by a single man.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been electric out of the backfield, easing the pressure on Ryan’s arm. They could be important in keeping Rodgers off the field if the game devolves into a shootout, giving their defense time to rest.

The running game is a huge advantage for the Falcons as the visitors will be forced to commit defenders to at least respect the threat, giving further space for Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper to thrive.

Stopping the Green Bay juggernaut will be no mean feat but the Falcons are well equipped to go score-for-score with Rodgers and home soil it should be enough to secure the win.

Why The Falcons Could Lose

Rodgers drove his side to victory last week

Rodgers has been simply brilliant in the Packers’ run to the NFC title game. The Packers have won their last eight games on the spin due to his outstanding play, making some truly breathtaking throws downfield.

Every side that has faced Green Bay over the past two months has fallen victim to his predatory play, even though they may have played solid defense. His propensity to move and to fit the ball into the tightest of windows makes him almost impossible to contain.

The Dallas Cowboys found that out to their cost last week as he made an astounding pass down the sideline that was caught by Jared Cook, setting up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal.

Should he continue to make plays like that on every series then the Packers might be able to put enough points on the board to see off the Falcons.

Jordy Nelson has a fractured rib, but could play at the Georgia Dome and should he connect with Rodgers like he did in the regular season then there will be no stopping Green Bay’s offense.

Their running game also could play a part in Atlanta’s demise. Ty Montgomery has made the successful transition to the backfield and has shown great ability with his vision and speed between the tackles.

The Packers offensive line is one of the best in the game and should he have a solid day on the ground to limit the possessions in the game it could be enough to stifle the Falcons.

Defensively, Nick Perry, Clay Matthews and Mike Daniels need to have disruptive matches to quell Ryan’s influence. Should they get to him with regularity and Rodgers shines, the Packers will be the ones to advance in the final match at the Georgia Dome.

Tips Summary

Atlanta Falcons to beat Green Bay Packers
Sunday 22nd January 15:05 ET (20:05 GMT)
Odds: -190

Matt Ryan to throw for over 319.5 yards
Sunday 22nd January 15:05 ET (20:05 GMT)
Odds: -125

Matt Ryan to throw over 2.5 touchdowns
Sunday 22nd January 15:05 ET (20:05 GMT)
Odds: -155

Aaron Rodgers to throw over .5 interceptions
Sunday 22nd January 15:05 ET (20:05 GMT)
Odds: -115

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Green Bay Packers
  • NFC
  • NFL
  • Playoffs

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.