Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick ColumnistJanuary 17, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:   Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons reactas against the Seattle Seahawks at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons (12-5) will try to defeat the Green Bay Packers (12-6) for the second time this season Sunday when they host the NFC Championship Game as solid home favorites.

Atlanta nipped Green Bay 33-32 in the first meeting but failed to cover as three-point home chalk in Week 8 after trailing by as many as eight points in the second quarter.

Point spread: The Falcons opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total was 59.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL pick, via OddsShark computer: 35.6-18.4 Falcons (NFL picks on every game)

Why the Packers can cover the spread

The Packers started a four-game losing streak when they lost at the Georgia Dome in October, and they have transformed themselves into a completely different team since their skid ended behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay has won eight straight following a thrilling 34-31 upset win over the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys as five-point road underdogs last Sunday, improving to 7-1 against the spread during that stretch. The visitor has also gone an impressive 10-1 ATS in the past 11 meetings in this matchup, with the Packers covering the last one.

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Why the Falcons can cover the spread

The Falcons have the NFL's best scoring offense thanks to league MVP favorite Matt Ryan, who is nearly unstoppable with a healthy Julio Jones on the field.

Jones only had three catches for 29 yards in the first meeting, but he is one of the few difference-makers at the wide receiver position because of his ability to draw multiple defenders. Atlanta teammates Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel burned Green Bay's secondary for 12 catches, 152 yards and two touchdowns between them, proving just how valuable Jones is when he is in the lineup.

The Falcons are coming off a dominant 36-20 victory against the Seattle Seahawks as 6.5-point home favorites, improving to 5-2 straight up and ATS in their last seven games versus teams with winning records. Atlanta has also been given a 55.4 percent chance to reach the Super Bowl at online prediction site

Smart pick

While Jones reaggravated a toe injury last Saturday that kept him out in Weeks 14 and 15 of the regular season, he is a lock to play for Atlanta here. The same cannot be said for counterpart Jordy Nelson of the Packers, who leads them with 14 touchdowns.

It seems hard to fathom that Rodgers can keep up his magic on the field without Nelson (ribs) again and with a running game that did not have one player total 500 rushing yards during the regular season. Most betting trends may be going against the Falcons in this spot, but they are the pick to win and cover the spread on the NFL lines in this rematch.

Betting trends

The visiting team is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games in this matchup.

The Packers are 3-0 ATS in their last three games on the road against the Falcons.

The total has gone over in the Falcons' last five games in the playoffs at home.

The total has gone over in 20 of the Packers' last 24 games against the NFC South division.

All NFL lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.