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Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons NFC Divisional Round Predictions, Odds, Picks and NFL Betting Preview – January 14, 2017

Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons NFC Divisional Round Predictions, Odds, Picks and NFL Betting Preview – January 14, 2017

Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

When: Saturday, January 14, 2017, 4:35 PM ET

Line: Seattle Seahawks (+4.5) at Atlanta Falcons (-4.5); total: 51.5  view all NFL lines

TV Broadcast: FOX

NFL News and Previews

Betting on the Seattle Seahawks (+4.5)

Moneyline: +175

As many had expected, the Seattle Seahawks made quick work of the Lions at home, 26-6, in Saturday’s NFC Wild Card game. The Seahawks remain undefeated in six home playoff games under head coach Pete Carroll, but must now travel to Atlanta to take on the resurgent Falcons in hopes of making it to their third NFC title game in five seasons.

Seattle had a near-flawless performance against Detroit, primarily through the strength of a rediscovered running game. Thomas Rawls, who gained just 65 rushing yards in the three games combined prior to Saturday’s contest, rumbled for a new franchise playoff-rushing record 164 yards to go with a touchdown on 27 carries.

The Seahawks’ passing game shouldn’t be overlooked either. Russell Wilson went an efficient 23-of-30 for 224 passing yards and a couple of TDs, all the while finding yet another capable target in wideout Paul Richardson, who made some acrobatic catches for 48 crucial receiving yards and a score. And let’s not forget Seattle’s patented defense, which limited the Lions to just two field goals, a disappointing 4.6 yards-per-play and a mere 13 first downs all afternoon.

There are a few teams in the NFL like the Seahawks that strike fear unto the hearts of their opposition come playoff time, and their 9-1 record in January since the 2014 season speaks for itself. Then again, they’ve gone just 3-5-1 against the spread in those games, and another showdown against Atlanta is sure to provide unpredictable results.

Betting on the Atlanta Falcons (-4.5)

Moneyline: -210

The Seahawks may have a ton of postseason moxie in its pocket, but the 11-win Atlanta Falcons are duly equipped themselves to put the Seahawks’ playoff prowess to rest. They enter Saturday’s showdown with a four-game win streak along with the top-scoring defense in the NFL during the regular season, averaging 33.8 points per game.

Matt Ryan made his case for the MVP Award even stronger during that four-game stretch, throwing for 11 touchdowns without getting picked off en route to a much-deserved first-round bye for his team. This season, Ryan also became the first player in NFL history to throw touchdown passes to 13 different receivers, proving that Atlanta’s ripe with weapons on offense. Having Julio Jones, Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper all recovering from their respective minor injuries during the bye is a timely plus for the Falcons as well.

Not only that, but Atlanta’s running-back tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will be just as problematic for the Seahawks. The two combined for 2,482 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns this season, giving the Falcons a one-two backfield punch that other teams can only envy of.

While Atlanta’s defense is suspect on most occasions, it’s actually been more opportunistic than that of Seattle’s own vaunted D by having three more takeaways in the regular season (22) that the Seahawks (19). The team’s home record of 5-3 (3-5 ATS) isn’t very comforting either, but at least the point total went over in all eight of those contests, meaning that Atlanta does indeed go berserk and turns into Hot-lanta on offense whenever they host a home game.

All things considered, though, Saturday’s clash could really go either way given the recent history between these two avian ball clubs from the NFC. The Seahawks’ 26-24 victory in Seattle from October earlier this season gives them the slight upper hand, but the Falcons happened to win the last playoff game they played together in Atlanta back in 2012, 30-28, and with an identical two-point margin to boot.

We’ll have to lean towards the Falcons as of this moment simply because Ryan’s banner campaign is too hard to ignore, and the loss of star safety Earl Thomas (broken tibia) on Seattle’s secondary may be the X-factor that will determine Atlanta’s fate of moving onto the next round.

Writer’s Prediction

The Falcons (-4.5) make it to just their third-ever NFC Championship game by soaring past the Seahawks, 34-28.

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Written by Mark

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