The Atlanta Falcons will begin their NFC title defense against the Los Angeles Rams in the Wildcard Round of the NFC playoffs. The game will be played on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and is scheduled to begin at 8:15 PM. ET.
Falcons vs Saints Odds
Point Spread and Over/Under
- Atlanta Falcons +6.5
- LA Rams -6.5
- Over/Under 48.8
Atlanta Falcons Analysis…
The Falcons were able to hold on to the final spot in the NFC playoff standings thanks to their win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Now that they are in the playoffs, they will be trying to get back to the Super Bowl, but they will need to play some very good football to get past the Rams.
Matt Ryan carried the Falcons offense on his back on Sunday, completing 28 of 45 attempts for 317 yards and one touchdown. Once again, the Falcons running game was virtually non-existent as the team finished with 60 rushing yards on 26 carries.
Devonta Freeman, who signed a five-year contract extension in August, seemed to regress a little this season, finishing with 865 yards in 14 games. He will need to earn some of that new contract in the playoffs with a similar performance to what he did in the playoffs last year.
The Falcons defense has been pretty solid in their last four games, and if they keep playing well, they will give Matt Ryan a chance to win the game for them.
LA Rams Analysis…
The Rams are making the playoffs for the first time since Mike Martz was coaching the tail end of the “Greatest show on Turf.”
Despite their lack of playoff experience, the Rams have a lot of talented players and are capable of making a Super Bowl run.
The Rams defense will have their hands full with the Falcons on Saturday, with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones looking to exploit their secondary. They will need to get a lot of pressure on Ryan and force him to make a few mistakes, which he has done a few times this season.
The Rams will also need to use Todd Gurley in different ways to keep the Falcons defense off their feet. Once Gurley starts to get going, they can exploit the Falcons secondary with Jared Goff, who should be able to exploit the defensive matchups in play action situations.
If the Rams take focus on running and take care of the ball, they should be able to come away with the win and advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
The Falcons have the experience, but they haven’t been very consistent this year. Take the Rams -6.5. Also take the over in this one.
Play: Rams -6.5