NFL Free Pick: ATL/MIN

Two teams fighting for their playoff lives square off in Minnesota this Sunday when the Vikings host the Atlanta Falcons.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 16.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Vikings -3 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 43 total points.

Key Trend: The Falcons are just 3-7 straight up in their last 10 games when playing in Minnesota, while the over has covered in four of Atlanta’s last six games when playing on the road against the Vikings.

Key Stat: The Vikings are allowing just 71.4 rushing yards a game this year, while rushing for 146.9 yards per game. The Falcons can also run effectively, averaging 148.8 yards per game in 2008.

Game Outlook: This is by far one of the toughest games to predict on the Week 16 schedule. Both teams are in much need of a victory and both are coming off impressive wins last week. This game will come down to whether or not Atlanta can stop Adrian Peterson and force backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to beat them through the air. Through six quarters, Jackson has totaled five touchdowns and no interceptions, but the Falcons will offer a better challenge than Detroit and Arizona did the past two weeks. The Vikings lost one of their top run-stuffers in Pat Williams because of injury, so it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the Falcons can take advantage of that and run Michael Turner right at the belly of Minnesota’s defense. This game should be close, but we expect the Vikings to pull away in the second half and clinch the NFC North Division with a victory. For the rest of our Free NFL Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 16 matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings game is

MINNESOTA VIKINGS -3

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Minnesota Vikings 17

Atlanta Falcons 13

We also predict that this game will GO UNDER THE TOTAL (43 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/21/08 11:30PM ET

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