National Football League: NFC Wild Card Playoff ATL vs. LAR
Atlanta Falcons (10-6, 5-3 away) at Los Angeles Rams (11-5, 4-4 home)
January 6, 2018- 8:15 PM ET (TV NBC) Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
On the road in their Wild Card opener, the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons will pay a visit into the famed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where they will take on the Los Angeles Rams in a Saturday night primetime contest that has the following betting lines from our best sportsbooks;
Best Falcons Lines: 5Dimes Spread (+5.5) ML +220
Best Rams Lines: MyBookie Spread (-5.5) ML -255
Over/Under: BetOnline 48.0
With still the sour taste of last year’s Super Bowl bitter defeat lingering, the Falcons (10-6) will begin their postseason quest to make a return trip back to the Big Game and take care of unfinished business but unlike last postseason where they enjoyed home field, the Falcons will begin on the road in a stadium almost as old as my grandmother.
It was a painful loss by the Falcons as they saw a 25 point lead fall by the wayside in a 34-28 overtime defeat to the New England Patriots in last year’s SB, but to a man, including head coach Dan Quinn, they say they are not expecting a repeat performance as they are a stronger and more resilient unit; we shall see?
Veteran signal-caller Matt Ryan will be under center where on the season threw for 4,095 yards with 20 touchdowns but an uncharacteristic 12 picks. All-Pro Julio Jones will be the ‘go-to’ guy as he has caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards but just three touchdowns.
For the Rams in just their second year back in the City of Angels, they are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Under new head coach Sean McVay, he inherited a football team that went 4-12 last season to taking them to an 11-5 record and along with it an NFC West title.
Second-year quarterback Jared Goff has flourished in the new system under McVay where on the year has thrown for 3,804 yards with 28 touchdowns to seven interceptions. Explosive on offense, Los Angeles has built their offense behind big Todd Gurley II, where he has rushed for 1,305 yards with 13 for paydirt.
It will no doubt be an eerie sight at the Coliseum hosting a playoff game where over 70,000 fans are expected to be on hand.
As for sports betting purposes for our US players, MyBookie is favoring LAR (-5.5) points over ATL with an over/under of 48.0 total game points scored. In what may be a tight game, I will favor the Falcons PLUS the points (+5.5) to cover the spread against Los Angeles as my best betting pick.