20* Seahawks/Falcons NFC Sunday No-Brainer on Atlanta -2.5
Seattle vs. Atlanta,
01/13/2013 13:00 EDT,
Score: 28 - 30
Point Spread: -2½/-110 Atlanta
First and foremost, starter Matt Ryan rarely loses at home. The Falcons’ signal caller owns a 33-5 career record inside the Georgia Dome for an 88.6 home winning percentage. That even includes a loss to Tampa Bay in their regular season finale in a game that they had nothing to play for.
Atlanta earned a first-round bye this year and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. However, it is just a 2.5-point favorite over a Seattle team that went just 3-5 on the road in the regular season. The Seahawks are getting too much respect for their win over the Washington Redskins and a hobbled Robert Griffin III last week. Washington simply isn't the same team without Griffin III at 100%.
The Falcons have a lot more to prove in this game, and they simply want this one more. They have been hearing all season how they haven't done anything until they win a playoff game. That's because Ryan and head coach Mike Smith have yet to win a playoff game. However, all three of their playoff losses since Ryan and Smith joined forces in 2008 have come to the eventual NFC champion.
Arizona went on to the Super Bowl in 2008, while Green Bay (2010) and New York (2011) both went on to win the Super Bowl. It has been more bad luck than anything as to them not winning a playoff game. They right that ship Sunday with a big home win in a game they simply want more.
Atlanta’s defense is much-improved this season. It allowed just 18.7 points per game overall, including 17.0 points per game at home. Its stop unit compliments an offense that put up 26.2 points per game on the season while ranking 8th in the league at 369.1 yards per game.
The Falcons have been a very solid bet coming off a non-cover. They are an impressive 35-17-2 against the spread in their last 54 games following an ATS loss. Atlanta is an even better bet when coming off a defeat. It is 22-7 against the spread in its last 29 games following a S.U. loss. Bet the Falcons Sunday.