Falcons vs. Eagles Prediction
The Falcons will visit the Eagles at 4:35 p.m. ET in Philadelphia on Saturday. Is the first game of NFL Divisional Round weekend a trap for bettors?
Who Oddsmakers Like: Atlanta. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Falcons are 3-point road favorites to beat the Eagles, who are the first No. 1 seed in NFL playoff history to be a home underdog against a No. 6 seed in the Divisional Round. As for the total, the number hit the board at 44.5 but was bet down to 40.
Who the Public Likes: Atlanta. As of early Saturday afternoon, 57% of betting tickets are on the Falcons and 62% of the money is also on Atlanta. Meanwhile, 61% of betting tickets are on the over while 54% of the money is also on the over 40.
Who the Trends Like: Philadelphia and the under. The home team is 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams while the Eagles are 6-2 at the betting window in their last eight home games against the Falcons. The under, meanwhile, is 8-3-1 in the last 12 meetings.
Who We Like: Philadelphia. If Carson Wentz were healthy and starting this game the point spread for this line would probably be around Eagles -6.5 or -7. So if we can assume Wentz is worth 6 or 7 points to the Eagles when healthy, and home field advantage is worth three points, why the hell are the Falcons a 3-point favorite? Nick Foles is Wentz, but he's not Matt McGloin either. He's more league average than total trash and he has a playoff start under his belt so he understands postseason intensity.
Oddsmakers laid a big ol' trap for bettors as soon as the Falcons knocked off the media darling Rams last week. Instead of crushing Steve Sarkisian and Atlanta for being in a "Super Bowl hangover," the narrative quickly switched to, "These Falcons are Super Bowl contenders again."
Hey, maybe they are. But let's look at this objectively. Since December 18, the Falcons travled to Tampa, then to New Orleans, back to Atlanta for a Week 17 game against the Panthers (a game they had to have to make the playoffs), then they went out to L.A. to play the Rams, back to Atlanta for a week of practice and now up to Philly…where it'll be 30-35 degrees outside.
The Eagles defense is nasty. You can't run on them and they have one of the best, deepest pass-rushes in the NFL. Matt Ryan also had the worst game of his MVP season last year when he traveled to Philly and was under seige by Jim Schwartz's defense. The Falcons struggle in Philly. I love the home dog to at least cover, if not win outright.
NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND PREDICTIONS: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES +3