Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals: Spread Analysis and Pick Prediction ColumnistOctober 23, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 20:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on October 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Cardinals are mired in a 3-8 ATS slide in their last 11 games when laying points at home, but they are slight favorites here and own a positive betting trend against Atlanta. A high-scoring game may ensue as these two have played five straight OVER results since 1991.

Point spread: Cardinals opened as 2-point favorites; the total was 45. (Line updates and matchup report)

Computer Prediction: 21.0-18.0 Falcons

Why the Falcons can cover the spread

In Sunday's 31-23 victory over winless Tampa Bay, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan called upon former No. 3 receiver Harry Douglas, since tight end Tony Gonzalez was being double-teamed. Douglas caught all seven passes he was targeted on for 149 yards. This passing game just might be back to life with Ryan and Douglas.

Why the Cardinals can cover the spread

Arizona has had extra time to prepare for this one after getting pummeled by the Seahawks in last week's Thursday night game. Arizona takes a step down in class after losing to San Francisco and Seattle in a five-day period. Over the next four weeks, the Cards play Atlanta at home, have a bye, host Houston and go to Jacksonville.

They own a 5-2 ATS home run against the Falcons, according to the matchup report.


Smart Pick

With Julio Jones out for the season, and Roddy White and Steven Jackson trying to heal nagging injuries, the Falcons still aren't up to par and now travel to the West Coast to play a team that will be battle-tested after back-to-back games against the two best teams in the NFC.

Arizona is favored for a reason here—the Cards should win.



Cardinals OVER is 5-1 the past six seasons before a bye week.

Teams have played five straight OVERs since 1991.

Arizona is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games when playing at home against Atlanta.


Note: All spread and odds data powered by Odds Shark—follow them on Twitter for injury updates and line move updates.