The Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan, whose playoff hopes are dependent on Week 17 results, take a strong head-to-head trend into a game against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.
In the only matchup of a crowded NFL Week 17 slate that has playoff implications for both teams, the Falcons are four-point betting favorites against the Cam Newton-led Panthers with a 45-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Falcons, who essentially need a win or a Seattle Seahawks loss in order to earn an NFC wild card berth, are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine home games against the Panthers. However, the OddsShark NFL Database reveals that the Panthers have an identical 7-2 ATS mark over their last nine road games.
Speaking of Seattle, the Seahawks are 9.5-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals with a 39-point total. The visiting team is 5-0-1 SU and ATS in its last six games in this matchup. The Seahawks, who deep-sixed the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff hopes during Week 16, are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after winning as an underdog.
The Minnesota Vikings, who simply need to win to join the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles as a bye team, are 11.5-point favorites against the Chicago Bears with a 39.5 total. The Bears are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games on the road against the Vikings. The total has gone under in 11 of the Vikings’ last 13 divisional games.
The New Orleans Saints, who need a win or a Carolina loss to clinch the NFC South, are seven-point road favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 50.5 total. The Saints are 11-0 SU and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite. The Buccaneers are 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games at home in December.
The San Francisco 49ers are 3.5-point road favorites, with a 43.5 total, against the Los Angeles Rams, who will be either the NFC’s No. 3 or 4 seed. The 49ers are 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in their last four games against the Rams.
The moving parts in the AFC playoff picture involve the Nos. 1 and 2-seeded bye teams – the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers – and the two wild cards.
The Patriots, who hold the tiebreaker over the Steelers, are 15.5-point favorites against the New York Jets with a 44 total. The Jets are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games against the Patriots. The total has gone over in 13 of the Patriots’ last 17 games at home in December.
The Steelers, who might take out starters if it appears wrestling home-field advantage from the Patriots is out of reach, are 10.5-point favorites against the Cleveland Browns with a 38 total. The total has gone over in 10 of the Browns’ last 14 road games. The Steelers, who had a Christmas Day blowout win against Houston in Week 16, are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games after an ATS win.
The Baltimore Ravens, who can lose and still get an AFC wild card spot, are 9.5-point favorites against the Cincinnati Bengals with a 40 total. The Bengals are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games. The total has gone over in six of the Ravens’ last eight games in December.
Among other AFC wild card hopefuls, the Tennessee Titans are 3.5-point favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 41.5 total. The total has gone over in the Jaguars’ last 10 games in the late afternoon. The Titans are 5-1 SU in their last six games at home.
The Los Angeles Chargers are eight-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders with a 42-point total. The Raiders are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games against the Chargers. The Chargers are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games at home in December.
And the Buffalo Bills are 2.5-point favorites against the Miami Dolphins with a 42.5 total. The Bills are 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games in the late afternoon. The Dolphins are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games in December.
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