It’s go time.
Kickoff for the NFC Championship Game is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Eastern from the Georgia Dome and the game will be aired by FOX.
Here’s a complete look at all the betting info you need to know, as well as our prediction for the conference championship below:
Falcons vs. Packers NFC Championship Betting Info
Note: All odds and numbers courtesy of OddsShark.com and are updated as of January 21
Spread: Falcons (-6)
Betting Percentages: 56 percent for the Packers (+6)
Betting Percentages: 63 percent for the OVER
Season Results: Falcons 12-5 overall (6-3 at home), 11-6 against the spread (4-5 ATS at home), 15-2 for the OVER (9-0 OVER at home) — Packers 12-6 overall (5-4 on the road), 10-7-1 against the spread (4-5 ATS on the road), 12-6 for the OVER (7-2 OVER on the road)
This one’s for all the marbles. Well, the NFC marbles, at least.
These teams met in Week 8, also in Atlanta, and the Falcons squeaked by with a 33-32 victory on a late Matt Ryan touchdown pass. The Packers covered the 3-point spread and the OVER came in easily (total was 51). In that game, Green Bay played without receiver Randall Cobb, running back Ty Montgomery and tight end Jared Cook, who has been tearing it up as of late. The Falcons were without Tevin Coleman, one half the Atlanta’s explosive backfield. All four players are expected to be active Sunday.
Both teams are offensive juggernauts and jugger-nots defensively. Atlanta led the league in scoring (33.8 points per game) and the Packers were fourth (27.0). Defensively, they both ranked in the bottom third of the league in points allowed.
So far in the playoffs, neither offense has been tamed and they’ve played some of the best defenses in the NFL. Green Bay dropped 38 on the Giants and 34 on the Cowboys. Atlanta hung 36 on the Seahawks. All three opponents were in the top 5 of scoring defense — New York (2nd at 17.8 PPG), Seattle (3rd at 18.3) and Dallas (5th at 19.1).
Not too shabby. Are fireworks in store at the Georgia Dome on Sunday?
Here are some recent trends before getting to the pick. The Falcons have scored at least 33 points in 5 consecutive games, breaking 40 twice. They have covered the spread in 4 of the last 5 and the OVER has won in 11 of 12, including 7 straight. The Packers have scored 30 points in 6 straight games (6-0 straight up) and they’ve covered the spread in 5 of them. Green Bay games have gone OVER in 6 consecutive.
See our NFC Championship Game 2017: Latest Line & Betting Preview post for even more trends and stats.
Both teams held up pretty well defensively against the run, but you can get yards on them. The running game advantage goes to the Falcons, who have Freeman and a healthy Coleman, who, as mentioned above, missed the Week 8 game. Montgomery can do some damage for the Pack, as he’s a good receiver out of the backfield.
But let’s face it, the ball is going to be in the air most of the time. These offenses aren’t ground-and-pound units where they’ll wear you down up front. And when the quarterbacks are Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers, you don’t spend a lot of time handing the ball off.
The Packers might be without wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who has broken ribs, but the offense has been just fine without him. He’s officially listed as questionable. Davante Adams (questionable) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) also carry the questionable tag. Those two are almost certain to suit up. Jared Cook should be busy once again and the Falcons have struggled to cover tight ends.
Perhaps a slight cause of concern is a cold-flu bug that has hit the Packers’ locker room, with victims including Rodgers, Nelson and last week’s hero, kicker Mason Crosby. Rodgers shrugged it off, saying he is “going to be OK.” You should believe him. This is for a shot at the Super Bowl. The Packers’ training staff will make sure he gets the best treatment ahead of Sunday.
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (toe) is good-to-go and will give the Packers banged-up secondary fits. And if he doesn’t it’ll be Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel or Freeman and Coleman out of the backfield.
And if you want to talk about defense, the Falcons have been playing slightly better. But neither stand much of a chance against these two quarterbacks, who are playing other-worldly.
The offenses will not struggle to score, so if you’re a defensive junkie, don’t look directly at your TV screen. And this is why I like the OVER despite that lofty 60 total. This game could come down to who has the ball last. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an entertaining, back-and-forth track meet. And that 6 points is a lot to give the Pack.
Just like in Week 8, Atlanta pulls off a close one in a high-scoring affair taking advantage of the home field crowd. The Falcons fly to Houston for their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1998-99 season.
The Pick: Falcons 37, Packers 34 (Falcons win straight up, Packers cover the spread, the OVER hits)