Falcons vs. Rams Point Spread: NFL Wildcard Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Jan 02, 2018

toddgurley_rams

For the first time since the 1985 season, the Rams will host a postseason game in the city of Los Angeles as they welcome the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night in the NFL’s wild-card round.

Atlanta
10-6
AT
January 06, 2018, 8:15 PM ET
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
L.A. Rams
11-5
Pointspread +6 -110
Moneyline +190
Over / Under o +49

49%

Betting Action

51%

Pointspread -6 -110
Moneyline -230
Over / Under u +49

49%

Betting Action

51%

No team has lost in a Super Bowl and then returned to the big game the following season since those Buffalo Bills teams of the early 1990s lost four straight Super Bowls. That’s a trend working against the Atlanta Falcons, who of course blew a 28-3 late third-quarter lead last February in Super Bowl LI and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

The Rams were one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year as NFC West champions, and they are one of eight teams to reach the postseason that didn’t last year. It’s the first time for the franchise in the playoffs since 2004 when it was in St. Louis. Los Angeles has the sure-fire NFL Coach of the Year in Sean McVay and potential league MVP in running back Todd Gurley.

The Falcons and Rams have met in the playoffs once: in the divisional round following the 2004 season. Atlanta rolled that day 47-17 at the old Georgia Dome. In the regular season, the Falcons have won their past four vs. the Rams. In Week 14 last year in Los Angeles, Atlanta cruised to a 42-14 victory behind three Matt Ryan touchdown passes. The Rams outgained the Falcons 312-286 but turned it over five times and had 11 penalties for 105 yards. The 2017 Rams are vastly superior to that team, however.

Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings overall.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons (10-6 SU, 7-9 ATS) clinched the NFC’s second wild-card spot with a 22-10 home win over Carolina in Week 17. It was 7-7 at halftime, and Matt Bryant had five second-half field goals. That somewhat sums up Atlanta’s offence this year. The unit led the league in scoring in 2016 at 33.8 points per game as Ryan was named NFL MVP. He wasn’t nearly as good this year as the Falcons averaged just 22.1 points. The loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the head coach of the 49ers, was big. In all six defeats this season, the Falcons were held below 20 points. On the bright side, the team’s defence was improved in 2017. Atlanta is 7-1 when it holds opponents under 100 yards rushing. It covered the spread in only two road games.

Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS) clearly made the best coaching hire of the last offseason in landing McVay, the former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator. He has transformed that Rams offence. The team was last in scoring in 2016 at 14.0 points per game and No. 1 this year at 29.9 ppg; no team in the Super Bowl era had gone from last to first in scoring in one season to the next. Gurley was leading the NFL in rushing yards entering Week 17, but McVay sat him and most other starters in a meaningless matchup (and loss) vs. San Francisco. Gurley was passed for the rushing crown by Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt, but Gurley was No. 1 in the league with 19 total touchdowns. He likely finishes second to Tom Brady for NFL MVP.

Falcons vs. Rams Prediction

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