NFL Picks & Odds Analysis for Monday's Falcons vs. Packers

Kevin Stott

Thursday, December 4, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 2:59 PM UTC

Green Bay has been routing teams here at Home at Lambeau Field this season and covering the point spread while doing so. Taking the Packers minus the points again here against Atlanta is the logical pick.

Odds Overview
Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (Packers -12, 56, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Tuesday 01:30 (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT): The Green Bay Packers (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) welcome the Atlanta Falcons (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) to Lambeau Field in Green Bay for this interdivisional meeting on Monday Night Football which should be tough sledding for the visitors from the warmer climate and a team used to safely playing in a dome. The Westgate SuperBook’s NFL 2014 Games of the Year opened this game at Packers -10 while the sports book’s Advanced Line last week had the Packers as 11-point Favorites and that’s exactly where the line opened up on Monday but Green Bay has already (Tuesday afternoon) been bet up to -12 and there is even a -13 now showing offshore at Pinnacle. And with the Packers ATS record and reputation on its own sacred home soil and this being the last game on the NFL Week 14 schedule, expect this point spread to continue to creep up some.

The Money Line (Winner) odds see the Packers priced at -650 with the Falcons lined at a healthy +450 in NFL odds while the Total Points in this game is set at 56½ (William Hill). The Packers Team Total Points is at 33½ (Skybet) while the Falcons Team Total Points is at 20½ Over -125 (bet365). And, a random prop wager: The Team To Score First odds have the Packers at -225 with the Falcons at +175 (Ladbrokes).


Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are tied for first place in the paltry NFC South with the New Orleans Saints with 5-7 records, so, any handicap of Atlanta has to include the reality that this team is still actually playing for something, as it showed last Sunday, beating the Arizona Cardinals, 29-18—the team, which at the time had the best record in the NFL—as 1½-point Underdogs at home in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in a game which meant everything to the hosts and almost nothing to the visitors. The Falcons (7-15 SU L22) are led by QB Matt Ryan (306 completions, 3,437 yards, 21 TDs) and the one thing that Atlanta does do well is throw the ball. The Falcons rank 6th in the NFL in passing (276.8 ypg) and WRs Julio Jones (82 receptions, 1,169 yards, 5 TDs, 14.3 ypc) and Roddy White (56 receptions, 662 yards, 5 TDs) are Ryan’s two Main Men but Devin Hester, Harry Douglas and others have their receiving roles in this pass-happy offense.

But Atlanta is a woeful 25th in the league in Rushing (97.2 ypg) and RB Steven Jackson’s (159 rushes, 602 yards, 5 TDs) best days are behind him. Defensively, the Falcons rank #20 against the Rush (118.3 ypg) and are an NFL-worst #32 against the Pass (284.9 ppg) so it’s a good thing the Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers don’t like to throw the ball. It could be a long night for Atlanta and the DBs in this one and nobody would be surprised if the Cheeseheads topped the 50-point mark in this one...something to think about when contemplating betting the Total here.

Injury-wise, T Jonathan Scott (hamstring), DT Paul Soliai (personal) and aforementioned WR Roddy White (ankle) were all listed as Questionable early in the week for this game for Atlanta.

Green Bay Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers (33-16-3 ATS Home) would get so much more attention if he wasn’t constantly living in the shadow of other superstar NFL QBs like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees but Green Bay is probably the perfect franchise for a guy like Rodgers, and like Brady in New England, Rodgers knows how to make a lot out of a little and those two smart and resourceful teams may very well end up meeting in Super Bowl XLIX on February 1 in Glendale, Arizona. Rodgers (252 completions, 2,325 yards, 32 TDs, 3 INTs) has been his usual brilliant self this season and the one thing that really sticks out about him in how few interceptions he throws—especially here at Home where he hasn’t thrown a pick since Rudolph left Santa Claus. Green Bay has quietly developed possibly the best receiving duo in the NFL with Jordy Nelson (70 receptions, 1,119 yards, 10 TDs) and Randall Cobb (65 receptions, 922, 10 TDs) providing incredible numbers and balance for gunslinger Rodgers and guys like Fresno State rookie WR Davante Adams (34 receptions, 417 yards, 3 TDs) and Andrew Quarless fill in the gaps for the league’s 8th best Passing attack (269.0 ypg).

When Green Bay runs the ball—the Packers are 19th in the NFL in Rushing, averaging 105.9 ypg—RB Eddie Lacy (175 rushes, 770 yards, 6 TDs) is the go-to guy and with James Starks and John Kuhn, have the dependable glue guys that simply make teams, teams.

Green Bay is now playing better on the defensive side of the ball since moving LB Clay Matthews inside and the Packers rank 11th against the Pass (234.5 ypg) and a sad 28th against the Rush (132.3), so expect the Falcons to try to run the ball before seeing that that’s not working before reverting back to throwing the ball every play, resulting in an occasional pick or two...something Uncle Aaron just doesn’t do here at home, let alone much at all.

Green Bay (8-1 SU L9) will come into this game relatively healthy with CB Sam Shields (concussion) listed as Questionable and DT BJ Raji (bicep) still on the Injured-Reserve list.

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
Most of the current season trends and numbers point toward taking the Packers here as our NFL pick but the recent trends in this series really shout Falcons. The Packers are just 7-8 ATS as Home Favorites on MNF—the Falcons are 3-5 ATS as Road Underdogs—and Green Bay is just 3-6 ATS L9 against Atlanta and 0-5 L5 ATS against the Falcons here at Home. Mercy. But trends are meant to be digested like all other pertinent information and with Green Bay (4-2 SU L6 vs. Falcons) absolutely smashing teams here at Home at Lambeau Stadium this season and covering the big numbers (4-0-1 ATS), prefer sticking with the better team, better roster, best fans and future-HOF QB and the team without an ATS loss on home soil yet against the Dirty Birds who are just 1-5 ATS L6 on the Road and 3-6 ATS in their L9. This game could get ugly and few teams play as well at Home in professional sports as do the Green Bay Packers. And they really like showing off on national TV and are going up against the NFL’s worst Pass Defense. You do the math.

And with prime time NFL games tending to go Over this season and Atlanta having that aforementioned worst pass D in the league, the Over has to be the lean although some trends suggest the Under is worth a look. In the Falcons L8 games, the Under is 6-2 and the Under is 5-1 in the L6 Road games for Atlanta although the Over is 4-2 in the L6 in this series here in Green Bay, 5-1 in the the L6 here at Lambeau and 7-2 in the Packers L9 games overall. The Total will probably come down to who dictates the pace and Green Bay will likely do so but who knows if the Packers get up big then turn off the engines in the 4th quarter. One thing’s for sure: These two teams like to pass alot.

Free NFL pick: Packers -13 at BetOnline

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