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January 22, 2017

There is one pick on Sunday.

Take the UNDER 61 total points in Atlanta Falcons vs. GB Packers for 3% of the bankroll.

What do casual fans expect when two prolific offenses meet? Naturally a high-scoring affair. Unfortunately for them but fortunately for sharps, who like to take advantage of inflated numbers such as this, history has proven otherwise. The average bettor loves touchdowns and not field goals and also wants to see teams go for it on 4th down when most coaches opt to punt it away, especially in important games like this with so much on the line. With all eyes on the two quarterbacks and their receivers, it is often the overlooked defenses that shine in this type of matchup and we expect one of them (probably Atlanta's defense) to have multiple takeaways this afternoon and fare well.

Make no mistake about it, we're not saying this will be a low-scoring game. This game will have its fair share of impressive offensive plays but will ultimately fall short of this big number. We don't see both teams putting up points like they have been in recent games, only one is likely to have that kind of success. And then when a healthy lead is acquired, they'll be content to rush the ball and run the clock out as opposed to keep piling on the points. The public loves the 'Over' in this matchup because they've seen these two offenses light up opposing defenses in recent weeks. Consider the fact that six straight Green Bay Packers game have flown over the total while 6 of the last 7 Falcon games have also gone 'Over' and you can see why the casual bettor is so convinced that is the right choice. We disagree. None of those games had a total in the 60's and in fact only one of the 13 games had a total set above 53 points! That was the shootout between Atlanta and New Orleans when the Falcons faced a team with virtually no defense. The vast majority of other games had a total in high 40's or low 50's and we believe this number has been adjusted too much by the oddsmakers, knowing that even if they set a ridiculously high number like 61, many people will still bet on the 'Over'.

It should also be noted that half of the wide receivers on both sides are banged up and carrying injuries. Yes, all the big names including Julio Jones and Jordy Nelson will be there as will the likes of Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison but they are all at less than 100% and were 'questionable' heading into this afternoon. They had to miss practice on several days and won't be as quick off the mark or as on the samge page with their QB as they normally are. That gives the cornerbacks, that no one seems to be talking about, an advantage today assuming officials don't bail out offenses with phantom 'pass interference' calls.

Rarely do two games play out the same way and having already participated in a complete shootout the last time these two sides met, we expect a lower scoring contest tonight. These two franchises played each other on Oct 30th in one of the highest scoring games of the season! The two defense co-ordinators will no doubt have reviewed the tape extensively with their playesr and made certain adjustments. The lack of Green Bay's rushing attack should hurt them in this contest. While the Falcons are a truly balanced offense and can hurt teams on the ground or through the air, the Packers very much rely on magic from Aaron Rodgers. At some point, their over-reliance on his arm is likely to result in INT's and quite potentially a pick-6. The Atlanta offense is hard to stop due to its diversified nature but Green Bay's unit, while potent is easier to plan for. The margin of victory remains to be seen which is why we're not wagering on the spread but overall look for the Falcons defense to do enough to send them to the Super Bowl and keep this game from being another shootout. At this inflated number, all the value is on the 'Under'.

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