The Seattle Seahawks are 4½ underdogs at the best Vegas sportsbooks in their divisional matchup with the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, January 14th at the Georgia Dome. Sure, the ‘Hawks did defeat – narrowly – the Falcons 26-24 in week 6 of the regular season at Century Link Field. Which is not the same to say that Seattle was actually better than Atlanta. The Falcons’ passing game on that occasion was unquestionably superior, putting up 335 yards and three TDs compared to the Seahawks 270 yards and no passing TDs. the Seahawks ran farther and more productively, though; running back Christine Michael ran for 64 yards and two TDs on 18 carries – more than Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Ryan combined. You know, Christine Michael? The one with the firsty-girly whom the ‘Hawks released in November, as NFL football online fans might remember.
Ultimately, it was kicker Steven Hauschka’s 44-yard field goal with 1:57 left in regulation that propelled Seattle to a third straight win and snapped Atlanta’s four-game winning streak. However, Michael’s presence – or rather absence – will not be the only difference next time around. Even though both teams won their respective divisions, the Falcons (11-5) finished just ahead of the Seahawks (10-5-1) in the NFC standings, thus ensuring a first round bye as well as home advantage. Therefore, not only will the ‘Hawks have to travel to Atlanta, but the Falcons will be all nice and rested. Though truth be told, it’s not as if Seattle had to pull out all the stops to dispatch the Detroit Lions 26-6 in the wild card round.
Any NFL football online betting establishment that considers itself the best Vegas sportsbook will tell you that the Falcons will beat the Seahawks, and cover the spread while they’re at it. It will come down to Atlanta’s offense vs. Seattle defense, and as the Vikings proved, even the best defense can only carry you so far. In order to win games, you need to score points, and the Falcons scored more points per game (33.8) than any other team in the league this regular season. Moreover, only the Saints had more total yards per game than Atlanta, and only the Saints and the Redskins had more passing yards per game than the Falcons. Finally, Atlanta finished 5th in the league in rushing yards per game. All things considered, the Cowboys were the only team that did better than the Falcons in any yardage category and also managed to reach the playoffs.
Seattle’s defense, on the other hand, ranked in the league’s top five in points and total yards allowed per game, and in the top ten in passing and rushing yards allowed per game. Defensive skills served, especially concerning the Falcons’ running game, served the Seahawks well early in the regular season, but whether they will be enough to pull the upset on Saturday remains to be seen. The smart predictions, best Vegas sportsbook money is on Atlanta, but adventurous NFL football online fans might want to go with the Seahawks on this one.