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Falcons vs. Bills Week 17 Picks: Atlanta Will Cover Huge Spread

falcons bills picks
Matt Ryan has recorded 3,555 passing yards this season for the Atlanta Falcons. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/AFP.

The Buffalo Bills can take the AFC East if they win out. Will they cover the spread against the Atlanta Falcons? Read on for our Falcons-Bills picks.

The Buffalo Bills were expected to run away with the AFC East this year. A few losses kept the division close, but the Bills (8-6-1 against the spread) can now secure a division title if they win out. Thankfully for Buffalo, the Bills face two of the NFL’s worst teams. But can the Bills cover a lofty spread at home in Week 17 against the Atlanta Falcons?

Atlanta (6-9 ATS) is without its two best receivers from last year, and a receiver-turned running back in Cordarrelle Patterson is carrying the team’s offense. Somehow, the Falcons are still firmly in the playoff hunt.

Here are my Bills-Falcons picks and predictions for their Week 17 NFL matchup (odds via FanDuel, and pick confidence is based on a one-to-five star scale).

Falcons vs. Bills Game Info

Date/Time: Sunday, Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET
TV: FOX
Location: Highmark Stadium
Weather: 28 degrees, chance of snow

Falcons vs. Bills Odds

The spread opened at Buffalo -14.5, and it's remained steady. The half-point is carrying a lot of weight here, as a two-touchdown win won’t be enough for Buffalo to cover.

The total opened at 43.5, and it's been rising. The weather could be a factor, so look for the latest forecast before making a pick. For now, FanDuel is offering a total of 44. Other sportsbooks are slightly higher. Expect the total to change if the forecast gets worse.

Falcons vs. Bills Picks

Falcons +14.5 (-115)
Under 44 (-110)

SEE ALSO: Week 17 Betting Odds, Lines, and Picks

Falcons vs. Bills Predictions

Falcons +14.5 (-115)

The Falcons are worse than their record suggests. Losing Calvin Ridley has limited the offense, and Matt Ryan can no longer carry the team by himself. However, 14.5 points is still a massive spread.

COVID-19 alone makes it hard to trust a team to cover a two-plus-touchdown spread. Other players could be out once the game rolls around. Even if that doesn’t happen, winning by two touchdowns is incredibly hard when your opponent is fighting for a playoff position.

An upset win would help to push the Falcons toward the playoffs, and worse teams have taken down the Bills.

Watch for Kyle Pitts to produce a solid game. He needs to play a red-zone role. The Falcons may just cover if he puts together a few impressive drives.

Under 44 (-110)

This is a risk, but I don’t see either offense thriving. If the forecast gets worse, this game could turn into a battle of the trenches.

The Under usually hits during Cold-weather games. Scoring is difficult, and mistakes are easier to make. Both teams will run the ball more.

If you're backing the Falcons to cover, adding the Under makes sense. Atlanta doesn’t want to turn this game into a shootout, as the club's offense can't keep up. The Falcons will try to force Josh Allen into mistakes and win this game in a dog fight.

If you think Buffalo will run Atlanta out of the stadium, take the Over. I expect this game to be ugly, so I’m taking the Under.

SEE ALSO: All picks and odds. Be sure to check out SportsbookReview.com’s community forums and betting tools.

Falcons-Bills picks made on 12/30/2021 at 1:45 p.m. ET.