Falcons vs. Rams Total Pick
Is the betting total for Saturday night's Wild Card matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams set too high?
Matchup: Falcons (10-6) at Rams (11-5)
Line: Rams -6.5
ODDS: According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the over/under currently sits at 48.5 points after hitting the board at 49.5. The Rams, meanwhile, are a 6.5-point home favorite to beat the Falcons after opening as a 4.5-point favorite.
PUBLIC BETTING: As of this writing, 51% of betting tickets are on the Rams to cover the spread and 55% of the money is also on Los Angeles.
INJURY REPORT: Devonta Freeman (knee), Alex Mack (calf), Taylor Gabriel (hamstring), Adrian Clayborn (calf) and Levine Toilolo (knee) are all probable for the Falcons. Andy Levitre, however, was placed on injured reserve with a triceps injury.
For the Rams, Cooper Kupp (knee) is probable but the team will be without Kayvon Webster (Achilles) and Greg Zuerlein (back), who are both out for the year.
OUR PREDICTION: The Rams can score at will and that's one reason why this is the betting total is set so high. That said, the Falcons had the biggest decrease in scoring from last season at -11.7 points per game. One reason for the drop is the lack of explosion in their passing game. Matt Ryan has 14 completions and three touchdowns of at least 30 yards this season. For comparison, he had 29 completions and 11 touchdowns of at least 30 yards last season.
The Falcons' receiving have also dropped 4.7% of their targets this season, which ranks 28th in the league. Ryan had the second-lowest drop rate last season and the decline has hurt Atlanta's scoring ability. In the team's Week 17 win over the Panthers, the Falcons settled for a whopping five field goals. They've been bogged down in the red zone of late.
That said, the Falcons defense has been on point. They're allowing nearly a touchdown less per game this season and have lowered their red zone percentage from 73% last year to 46% this season. Their defense is underrated.
The under is a perfect 5-0 in the Falcons' last five games overall and is 8-2 in the Rams' last 10 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous contest.
NFL WILD CARD WEEKEND OVER/UNDER PREDICTION: FALCONS/RAMS UNDER 48.5