By: Jason Green
Atlanta Falcons (9-7 SU 8-7-1 ATS) vs. L.A. Rams (10-6 SU 10-6 ATS)
The Falcons put on a solid defense performance in their last Game beating the Carolina Panthers 22-10 in a Game they needed to win to make the playoffs. They ended the season winning three of their last Four Games, but after having home field advantage in the playoffs last season they have to hit the road to make it back to the Super Bowl. Atlanta is led by their defense, which ranks 8th in the league in points against and while they have Matt Ryan under center he has not looked like the MVP winning QB that he was last season.
At 5 dimes sportsbook the Rams are the 7-point favorite with a total of 48.5.
The Rams were one of the biggest surprises of the league this season winning the NFC West after a bad first season in LA LA LAnd last season. They lost badly in their last Game, but they rested many key players and for the season the Rams were the highest scoring team in the league, rank 12th in points against, and have RB Todd Gurley in the backfield, who is a legit MVP candidate.
These teams met last season in L.A. where the Falcons laid a 42-14 beat down on the Rams.
The Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last seven Games facing the Rams.
In their last Game the Falcons were at home and they beat the Carolina Panthers 22-10. They outGAined Carolina 371 yards to 248 yards, forced three turnovers without committing any, and they defended the run well. However, they struggled to run the ball and after a TD in the first quarter their next 15 points came on five field goals. Ryan passed for 317 yards with a TD and no INT and was only sacked oNCe and Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones combined for 14 catches and 165 yards. Freeman was solid catching the ball, but he only had 23 rushing yards averaging a paltry 2.1 yards per carry and the Falcons only rushed for 60 yards. Ryan has been playing pretty well, but he does not have more than one TD pass in his last six Games.
Ryan and company will be facing a L.A. defense that ranks 13th against the pass and only 28th against the run.
The Rams were at home in their last Game and they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 34-13. L.A. GAve up 461 yards, while they only had 251, but they did force three turnovers. The loss to the 49ers was bad, but San Fran ended the season as the hottest team in the league and QB Jared Goff and Todd Gurley did not play. Goff passed for over 3,800 yards on the season and in his last three Games he has eight TD and only one INT. Gurley likely would have won the rushing title if he had played in the last Game and in his last two Games he has rushed for 118 yards and 151 yards respectively.
Atlanta has a balanced D that ranks 12th in the league against the pass and 9th against the run.
The Falcons are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road Games, 2-7 ATS in their last 9 playoff Games, and in their last 5 Games they have an Under record of 5-0.
The Rams are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 home Games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games after a straight up loss, and in their last 5 Games they have an Over record of 5-0.
Jason’s Pick: This one is a tough call, as the Rams were legit this season while the Falcons barely made the playoffs, but won the Super Bowl last season and have more playoff experieNCe. I think the Rams will win this Game, but it will be close, as Ryan will have a good Game and the Falcons will, at least, cover the 7-point spread.
Bettorsworld Pick – The Rams are the better offensive team in this one. However, they were less than spectacular at home sporting a 3-4 record there. When we run Our model using full season stats, the predicted score is a Rams win by a score of 26-21 (Falcons cover barely).
However, we also run Our model using only data from the last 7 Games, which can give us a better indication of how a team is playing RIGHT NOW. When we do that for this Game, the model predicts a Falcons win by a score of 24-23.
It’s worth watching the board to see if a +7 pops up. Either way, it’s a Falcons call for us. Atlanta +6.5