Falcons-Packers Betting Preview: Can You Count on Rodgers & Co. to Recover?

Falcons-Packers Betting Preview: Can You Count on Rodgers & Co. to Recover? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matt Ryan (2), Aaron Rodgers (12).

Betting odds: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers

  • Spread: Packers -5
  • Over/Under: 50.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: Within the first 12 hours of this line opening, the Packers had moved from -4 to -6 behind about three quarters of the cash.

Since then, the money has gone back down to the 50/50 area and the books have split the difference on the line, dropping Green Bay back to -5 (check out live data here).

The over has received a ton of support, with about three-quarters of bet tickets and more than 95% of dollars, and has moved from 48 to 50.5 since opening. — Mark Gallant

Weather report: This will be one of the colder games of the season so far, with temperatures in the 20s according to our Sports Insights weather bug.

Wind speeds will be approaching 10 mph, but there is no precipitation in the forecast unlike last weekend. — Gallant

Trends to know: The Packers lost in Week 13 at home as 13.5-point favorites with nearly 70% of spread tickets backing them. After burning gamblers, a majority of tickets are on the Falcons at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

However, teams that lose outright as double-digit favorites have historically bounced backed the following week.

Since 2003, teams in this situation have gone 37-23-2 (62%) against the spread, according to our Bet Labs data.

Aaron Rodgers had lost two previous games as a double-digit favorite and covered the next game both times — John Ewing

Not only did Rodgers cover in his next two games after losses as a double-digit favorite, he beat his rivals, the Vikings (by 14) and Bears (by 17), throwing a combined seven touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Rodgers has also returned home after a loss as a 7-point favorite or higher just twice in his career. The Packers are 2-0 straight up and ATS, winning both games by double-digits. — Evan Abrams

Did you know? Matt Ryan has only played in one game in his NFL career with the temperature below 30 degrees: Week 14 of the 2013 season at Lambeau Field.

Ryan’s stats:  20-of-35 | 206 yds | 2 TDs | 1 INT | 5.9 YPA. — Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Aaron Jones vs. Falcons defense

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn described his run defense as “terrible” after a Week 13 loss. Getting linebacker Deion Jones back helps some, but it won’t solve a bad defensive front taking on a solid run-blocking Packers offensive line.

As a team, the Packers are one of only three teams that average at least 5.0 yards per carry (Broncos and Panthers). Jones has been even better, ranking second in the NFL with a superb 5.7 yards per carry (trailing only Phillip Lindsay).

The former UTEP Miner should have a field day on the ground against a Falcons team that gives up 5.0 yards per carry on the ground (25th in the NFL). Jones should also enjoy a big day catching the ball out of the backfield against a unit that struggles mightily to defend running backs in the passing game. — Stuckey

Sneaky storyline: The Packers should have an advantage on the other side of the ball, as the Falcons likely won’t be able to get any semblance of a running game going.

As a result of some injuries and subpar offensive line play, the Falcons have run the ball 31 times for 60 yards total over their past two games.

That will hurt their play action passing game and allow the Packers’ top-five pass rush in adjusted sack rate to tee off against Ryan. — Stuckey

Which team is healthier? Falcons

Wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) and linebacker Deion Jones (foot) are expected to play Sunday despite failing to start off the week with a full practice. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (shoulder) and receiver Calvin Ridley (hand, elbow) are also tentatively expected to suit up.

The Packers have a bit more uncertainty to deal with, as left guard Lane Taylor (foot), outside linebacker Clay Matthews (ankle) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) should be considered questionable for Sunday.

The statuses of cornerback Bashaud Breeland (groin) and safeties Kentrell Brice (concussion) and Raven Green (ankle) are more important with starting cornerback Kevin King (hamstring, IR) done for the season.

Both Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Jimmy Graham (knee, thumb) are expected to play Sunday.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) warms up before the NFC Divisional playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Julio Jones.

DFS edge: Yes, Julio Jones only gained 18 yards last week at home against the Ravens. However, he’s already posted similar numbers this season (86-1,323-3) compared to his stats in 2017 (88-1,444-3).

Get ready for a Mount Saint-Julio eruption.

Jones’ 18 yards were his fewest since Sept. 26, 2016. What did Jones do after that game? Oh, just caught 12-of-15 targets for 300 (!!!) yards and a touchdown vs. the Panthers.

Helping matters for a potential blow-up spot in Week 14 is Jones’ history of success against the Packers.

2011 Week 5: 1 reception-16 yards-0 TD
2014 Week 14: 11-259-1
2016 Week 8: 3-29-0
2016 NFC Championship: 9-180-2
2017 Week 2: 5-108-0

Jones costs $8,400 on FanDuel and boasts a strong 94% Bargain Rating in our FantasyLabs Models. — Hartitz

Bet to watch: Over 50.5

I liked this bet more at 48.5 earlier in the week, as 50 is a very key number in over/under betting, but still think it has some value at the current line.

As Stuckey mentioned above, the Packers should be able to rip off some explosive plays in the run game. According to Sharp Football, Green Bay has the eight-most explosive run game, compared to Atlanta’s 22nd-ranked unit in the same metric.

And yes, as Ian laid out in his DFS blurb, Julio seems ripe to rip off a big game against the Packers’ banged-up secondary.

If this game was played four weeks ago — before the Falcons’ skid against some of the NFL’s hottest defense and before the Packers laid an egg against the lowly Cardinals — the number would’ve been in the mid 50s.

I like buying low on two explosive offenses/quarterbacks that have very clear matchups in their favor. Getting an extra-motivated Rodgers off the heels of the team firing Mike McCarthy doesn’t hurt, either. — Scott Miller

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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