Today's Free Picks for
Posted Friday at 2:15 PM EST.
8:30 PM EST. How many of you had the Falcons in your survivor Pool in Week 1? As a -6½ point road favorite in Chicago, Matt Ryan and company had their hands full with the Bears. The Falcons were actually in a position to lose that game, as the Bears drove into the red zone on the final drive with a shot at an unlikely win. To the relief of Survivor poolies that had Atlanta, the Falcons held on but to the frustration of everyone else that needed Chicago to win straight up in order to knock off everyone that had Atlanta, it was disappointing. Still, all eyes were on that final drive, as it was truly the only game last Sunday that came down to the final drive. Atlanta struggling against the Bears has resonated in this market while the Packers easily knocked off a perceived heavyweight. That resonates too.
While the Packers win last week was nice, it was in Green Bay versus one of the worst offensive lines in the game. Green Bay’s defense was not exposed the way it likely will be this week. Furthermore, did you happen to see what Matt Ryan did to the Packers last year? Matt Ryan combined for 680 yards and seven touchdowns in two wins over the Packers last season, including a blowout victory in the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons won’t have OC Kyle Shanahan calling the shots but so what. What they will have is the same players, same playbook and great confidence knowing they took this visitor to school. The media is selling that the Packs’ defense is better but we’re not buying it until we see it. This week will be a much bigger challenge for Green Bay and it is one that was too big on two occasions last year.
Green Bay’s offense figures to score, which is no shock given veteran quarterbacking and its pedigree. The Packers defense, though, has been the surprise toast of the town because of what they did to Seattle last week. That’s the overreaction here. However, we’re always preaching that context tells a different story than the impressive raw numbers. The Packers' defensive resume is built on one game against the weak offensive line that the Seahawks brought with them and shutting down some other sad-sack offenses last year. Atlanta blew the Super Bowl, they nearly lost to Chicago in Week 1 and now the media and market is suggesting the hangover or demise will continue. We see it as the Falcons being sold short because this might be one of the three best teams’ in the league that is spotting a lousy FG at home against a beatable squad.
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ATLANTA -3 -107 (Risking 2.14 units - To Win: 2.00)