Uh-oh… looks like snow showers might mess up Monday Night Football after all. And with the NFL odds giving us a sky-high total of 56 points, too. Will the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons overcome?
Jason’s record after Week 13: 34-46-1 ATS, 17-20-1 Totals
When we made our NFL pick for Monday night’s game (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons, the weather report called for clear skies over Lambeau Field. Now, not so much. The forecast at press time says there’s a 40-percent chance of snow showers throughout the day and into the evening, with temperatures dropping to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and winds up to 20mph. Football weather, in other words.
This is fantastic news for Falcons supporters. Even though you’d expect them to struggle mightily in adverse weather, if things get suitably nasty at Lambeau, it’ll be difficult for either team to score. That means Green Bay will be hard-pressed to cover that 13-point spread; more importantly for today’s column, that massive 56-point spread on the Week 14 NFL odds board looks even more massive.
Rube Hornstein Medal-Deserving Coverage
It all depends on whether it snows, of course, but also what kind of snow. Recalling Richard Borghesi’s studies on weather and NFL totals, the OVER actually fares better in the snow and cold, as casual bettors tend to overreact to how those conditions affect the players. But the NFL lines haven't moved lower for Monday’s giant total yet. And “snow showers”? That sounds pretty messy.
Actually, when the weather folk talk about snow showers, they’re referring to intermittent snow that’s somewhere between a flurry and a storm in intensity. It could be “wet” or “dry” snow, depending on how dense the snow crystals themselves are. What we really want for the UNDER to cash in is wet snow. Rain would be even better, mind you.
Meanwhile, the wind in the forecast is definitely promising for the UNDER. Lambeau Field itself could also be nice and slick by kick-off, depending on how much snow falls overnight on Sunday. The forecast calls for an accumulation of less than one inch – again, somewhere between flurries and a full-on snowstorm. Back to you, Frank.
Les Flocons d’Atlanta
Whichever kind of snow (if any) we end up with Monday night, it won’t be like playing in the Georgia Dome. Monday’s game will mark the one-year anniversary of Atlanta’s last trip to Lambeau Field, where the temperature at kick-off was nine degrees with a light snowfall – beautiful to watch, but not to play in. Each team turned the ball over twice as Green Bay escaped with a 22-21 victory (UNDER 47). That was with Matt Flynn filling in for the injured Aaron Rodgers, by the way.
Looking back at other December games the Falcons have played outdoors in cold-weather cities, there aren’t very many from the past decade, but you’ll see a pattern nonetheless:
Dec. 20, 2009: Falcons 10, Jets 7 (UNDER 36)
Dec. 31, 2006: Falcons 17, Eagles 24 (UNDER 43)
Dec. 3, 2006: Falcons 24, Washington 14 (UNDER 38.5)
Dec. 18. 2005: Falcons 3, Bears 16 (UNDER 31)
We can also throw a couple of January games on the pile for good measure:
Jan. 8, 2012: Falcons 2, Giants 24 (UNDER 47)
Jan. 23, 2005: Falcons 10, Eagles 27 (UNDER 41)
How do you like them apples? All seven of these games went UNDER the posted total, and none of them had anything close to the 56-point total we’ve got for Monday night. Granted, none of those games had Aaron Rodgers (118.6 passer rating), either. Rodgers is well on his way to winning his second league MVP award, throwing 32 TD passes and just three interceptions through 12 starts. The OVER is 9-3 for Green Bay this year, so it’s understandable that Monday’s total is so big. Understandable, and delightful.
Free NFL Pick: Take the UNDER 56 at YouWager