Seattle at Atlanta NFC Divisional Round Lines, Pick & TV InfoWhen: Saturday, Jan. 14, 4:35 PM ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Falcons -5 (51.5)
Why Bet on Seattle?The Seahawks defeated Detroit 26-6 last week to advance to the Divisional Playoffs. Seattle running back Thomas Rawls rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown, the most rushing yards in a postseason game in franchise history. QB Russell Wilson has 64 career wins (including the postseason), the most wins ever by a starting quarterback in his first five seasons.
The Seahawks ran for 177 yards in their wild-card victory over the Lions. In the three games prior to that, they averaged 79 rushing yards per game. In the four games prior to that, they averaged 163.8 rush yards per game. So it’s an inconsistent group. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expects rookie RB C.J. Prosise (shoulder) to be a game-time decision. Carroll has said Prosise will only play if he’s all the way back from his injury. Prosise hasn’t played since Week 11. In Weeks 10 and 11, he combined for 234 total yards and one touchdown on 30 touches.
Although the Seahawks held Lions’ Matthew Stafford to just 205 passing yards and the offense to just six points, the Seahawks’ defense is missing their leader, safety Earl Thomas. Since Thomas was put on injured reserve after breaking his leg against the Panthers, the Seahawks have not had a single interception (five straight games, including playoffs). That drought ties the franchise’s all-time record from 1990. With a powerful running game and deep-threat wide receivers, the Falcons have the type of offense that could really expose the Thomas-less Legion of Boom.
The Seahawks are the No. 3 seed entering Saturday’s game, something that hasn’t bode well for the team in years past. Seattle has been the three-seed or lower eight times since 1990 and never made it past the Divisional Round.
Seattle beat visiting Atlanta 26-24 earlier this season.
Why Bet on Atlanta?If this Falcons vs. Seahawks game seems familiar, that’s because Seattle came to Atlanta back in 2012 for the NFC Divisional Game. The Falcons won that game 30-28 with a last-second field goal from kicker Matt Bryant.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn spent four seasons with Seattle (2009-10, 2013-14), including the 2013 and 2014 seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator. The Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl in both seasons, including winning Super Bowl XLVIII.
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan led the NFL with a 117.1 passer rating, the fifth-best mark in league history. Atlanta ranked second in total yards and first in points per game by 4.5. Ryan was named first-team all-pro last week ahead of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, making him the front-runner to win the MVP award in a few weeks. Ryan earned his all-pro nod based on his 4,944 yards, 69.9% completion rate and 38 touchdown passes. But Ryan has just one postseason win in five playoff appearances — against Seattle, coincidentally.
The Falcons scored a franchise-best 540 points this season, shattering the previous mark set during their 1998 Super Bowl year (442). The 540 point total is also the eighth-most in a single season in NFL history. But none of the other seven teams to score as many or more points won the Super Bowl that year. The Atlanta defense has made progress as the season has gone along, with NFL sacks leader Vic Beasley Jr. leading a rejuvenated pass rush that should be able to dominate Seattle’s patchwork offensive line.
Seattle at Atlanta NFC Divisional Round Pick: Atlanta FalconsSeahawks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
Falcons are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC.
Over is 8-0 in Falcons last 8 home games.
Go Falcons and over the NFL betting total.