NFL Playoffs Wk 2 Falcons Eagles
After a decisive victory in their wildcard matchup against the superior (but apparently not) Los Angeles Rams, many fans and bettors are wondering: Have the Falcons finally found their 2016 form? Has Matt Ryan – the reigning league MVP – finally got his mojo all the way back? By some measures, this seems to be the case, but many analysts remain unconvinced that the ATL offense has the sheer explosiveness it demonstrated last season. Yeah, they can put up big yardage and burn clock (they learned their lesson, costly as it was), but when it comes to scoring offense, they sit at 15th in the NFL. Last year they were first. Worse, the Dirty Birds rank 23rd in red-zone TD percentage.
All that said, the Falcons are actually the favorite to beat the Philadelphia Eagles when they visit them in PA this Saturday (4:35 PM, NBC). The Las Vegas odds on the Falcons vs. Eagles have ATL as -3 favorites, while the Eagles moneyline is +140 for the upset. And if you can’t get out west in time to wager, don’t worry – you don’t have to go to NV to bet on the game. With the advent of legal online sports betting, Vegas is for the birds! Of course, with their Falcons vs. Eagles odds, so are Bovada, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes.
With a Falcons spread of -3, SportsBettingGeorgia.com thinks there’s probably not much wiggle room for the Divisional game’s line to move too much, so you shouldn’t expect big changes before game day (unless there’s an injury to a key player). It remains to be seen if Ryan will suit up for practice on Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s walkthrough (family issues), but both he and star wide receiver Julio Jones, who is finally healthy and approaching 100%, are locks to start this weekend. Whether or not that dynamic duo is enough to challenge Philadelphia’s stout defense and Nick Foles’ competent stand-in stewardship remains to be seen, but the expectations on the Eagles side – after being “Super-Bowl-or-bust” earlier this season – have diminished considerably in the wake of Carson Wentz’ season-ending ACL injury. And the road to glory won’t get any easier after the dust settles on the Divisional round, either. Whoever wins the Falcons vs. Eagles contest will face the winner of the Sunday’s Saints vs. Vikings tilt.
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