Sunday’s NFC championship game between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons will feature two of the hottest teams in the NFL – and two quarterbacks who are making a strong case for the 2016 MVP award.
The Packers and Falcons weren’t on too many NFL experts selection list to make it to the NFC title game when the postseason began, but right now you couldn’t have asked for a better showdown.
Green Bay has shown that they are more than capable of winning Super Bowl 51, and their confidence just seems to keep growing by the week. The Packers were five-point favorites to beat the New York Giants two weeks ago, yet the G-Men were most experts’ “sexy” pick of Wild Card weekend. Green Bay took care of New York in easy fashion and moved on to Dallas where they promptly took care of the No. 1 seed in the NFC in dramatic fashion.
After taking a 21-3 over Dallas, the Cowboys stormed back tying the game on two different occasions. Both teams battled it out to the very end, and in a dramatic finish, Mason Crosby kicked the game winning 51-yard field goal for Green Bay as time expired.
Now the Packers move on to face the Atlanta Falcons, another team that is playing great, yet flying under many NFL fans’ and experts’ radar.
According to a SI report, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will give the Atlanta fans one more game at the Georgia Dome, and they are hoping to say goodbye to the old girl with a victory that will send Atlanta back to the Super Bowl for the first time since they faced the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 33.
In case you didn’t know, next season the Falcons will move to their new home stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, beginning in the fall of 2017.
These two teams did square off this season, with the Falcons coming away with the 33-32 win. However, that was way back in Week 8, and at that time Green Bay was without Clay Matthews, Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb – three very key components that have all been contributing a lot in the postseason for the Pack.
In their Week 8 clash, Aaron Rodgers was, well, the same old Aaron Rodgers. He threw 248 yards, four touchdown passes and finished the game with a 125.5 rating. Now that Rodgers has Montgomery and Cobb healthy, look for those numbers to only go up this time around.
In fact, Las Vegas odds makers think this could be one of the highest scoring NFL playoff games ever.
Most sports books in Sin City had set the over/under number at 58.5 when the line first came out Sunday evening. Now, many have it at 60 or 60.5, which is just insane for a NFL conference title game.
With these two offenses, it would be shocking not to see this game finish 38-35 or so, especially since both team’s weaknesses are the defense.
As for some key gaming tips, the Falcons were one of the best teams to lay your money on at the Vegas window in 2016. Atlanta finished the season 12-5 straight up and a very impressive 11-6 against the spread. The Birds were definitely a money-maker.
The Packers on the other hand were not as good against the Vegas number. Green Bay is 12-6 straight up but just 8-7-1 against the spread, which means they aren’t making any money for the Vegas gamblers.
Keep this in mind though, the Packers are 2-0 in the playoffs ATS and are 3-0 in their last three overall as an underdog of over four points – which is what they are for this game.
The team with the ball last could be the team that pulls out the win and advances to Super Bowl 51.
It is going to a barn burner at the Georgia Dome this Sunday, that’s why the points look good here.
Pick – Green Bay +5
The NFC Championship game is scheduled to get underway at 3 p.m. ET from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia and will air nationally on FOX.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]