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Rested Rams Take on Falcons in First Playoff Game Since 2005

Back in the playoffs – though just barely – to defend their NFC championship, the Atlanta Falcons are in tough against the Rams, opening their wild-card playoff tilt as 6-point underdogs. Historically, that’s been a bad number for Matt Ryan and the Dirty Birds but Atlanta is up against more than a big spread on Saturday: the Rams are one hell of a team.

  • The Falcons are 1-19 SU in their last 20 games as underdogs of 6 or more points.
  • The Rams rested Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald in Week 17.
  • The Falcons are 10-3 SU and 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games on the West Coast.

Able to rest their star players against the 49ers in the final week of the regular season, the Rams are coming into their wild-card matchup off a de facto bye and while there are a few schools of thought on benching guys in Week 17, Los Angeles is clearly in a position of power heading into the weekend.

Not only are the Falcons banged up, they’re drastically overmatched on defense and Steve Sarkisian has yet to figure out how to effectively use the vast number of weapons at his disposal. Does Atlanta have the potential to win this game? Of course. When clicking, the Falcons can outscore any team in the NFL but that hasn’t happened much this season and I’m not sure I want to roll the dice against the Rams.

In order for Atlanta to win this game, they’ll have to stop Todd Gurley and while they’ve been great against the run since Week 14, the Toddfather is a different beast who has the ability to single-handedly sink the Falcons’ Super Bowl hopes as five of Atlanta’s six losses this season came when the defense allowed over 100 rushing yards.

For Sean McVay and the Rams, they just have to do what they did all year – score points at will and play good enough defense. The 31-year-old rookie head coach has proven that he’s already one of the brightest minds in the NFL and I’m confident that he’ll coach circles around Dan Quinn on Saturday and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Falcons played themselves out of this one all by themselves.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Oddsmakers at Bovada had the Los Angeles Rams as 5.5-point favorites in the game, while the betting total was sitting at 50.5.

OddsShark prediction models picked the Rams to win this game on Saturday 28-18. Check the picks page or matchup report during the week as factors may cause that prediction to be re-run. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Atlanta Falcons vs Los Angeles Rams Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Supporters of the Atlanta Falcons have seen them go 10-6 and 7-9 ATS so far this season, while the Los Angeles Rams are at 11-5 and 9-7 ATS. In totals betting, the Rams are 10-5-1, while the Falcons are 5-11. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Los Angeles vs Atlanta injuries news.

The OddsShark Power Rankings have the Rams at No. 3 and the Falcons at No. 10 heading into this contest.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Los Angeles Rams' No. 1-ranked offense (29.88 PPG) against a Atlanta Falcons defense that ranks No. 8 at 19.69 PPG. The Rams passing attack has averaged 239.75 yards per game, more than the Falcons give up through the air (214.31 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Falcons own the league's No. 14-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 113.5 yards per game when on the road. Los Angeles, on the other hand, rates No. 21 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Matt Ryan led the way last time out for the Falcons, connecting for 317 passing yards in a 22-10 victory over the Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Los Angeles was hammered in its last outing, as San Francisco ran up a 34-13 score against them at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Betting Trends
  • Atlanta is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games
  • Atlanta is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
  • Atlanta is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games on the road
  • Los Angeles is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 5 games
  • Los Angeles is 4-10-1 ATS in its last 15 games at home
  • Los Angeles is 4-11 SU in its last 15 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Atlanta home to , Wednesday, December 31st
Los Angeles home to , Wednesday, December 31st