The Falcons host the Packers for the third time in less than a year Sunday night, but this time, they’ll be showing off their new venue.
The Falcons home opener is an NFC Championship rematch as Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts Sunday Night Football. The Falcons are a three-point favorite according to OddsShark, and you can be sure to expect a ton of points. OddsShark has the consensus over/under set at 53.5.
Expect a high-scoring affair in primetime. In each of the past two meetings, the combined score of these teams has exceeded 50 points. The Falcons started slow in their season opener, but they can be confident knowing they’ve scored 77 points against this team over eight quarters.
The Falcons are in a new stadium, but they’ve always been a reliable home favorite. They’re 7-0 straight up in their last seven as a betting favorite, and were 12-7 against the spread last season.
The Falcons nearly lost to the Bears, but it wasn’t because of their new coordinator. Steve Sarkisian did fine in his first game as playcaller, as Matt Ryan totaled over 300 yards and his team finished with 23 points. If anything, Sarkisian could tweak his gameplan to get Julio Jones the football. Jones had a 25 yard catch-and-run against Chicago, but otherwise totaled a pedestrian four catches for 66 yards.
The Packers looked playoff-ready in September against the Seahawks, grinding out a 17-9 victory. Controlling the game was Ty Montgomery, who finished with a career-high 19 carries. Aaron Rodgers still had 42 pass attempts, and only threw one interception against a healthy Seattle secondary.
Expect lots of points, lots of pretty stadium PR, and some mention about how cheap the food is. The Packers can always keep it close, but the Falcons have too many weapons and should pull away. I’m not confident enough to the the birds, but I’ll definitely take the over.
Prediction: Falcons 36, Packers 29