Packers, Falcons Post Largest Total in NFL Playoff History
It was obvious that Sunday’s game (3:05 PM ET, FOX) between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons was going to produce a nosebleed total.
But the biggest total the NFL playoffs have ever seen?
That was something of a surprise. The over/under for Sunday’s NFC title game opened at 61 points, breaking the old mark of 60 set five years ago, when the New Orleans Saints thumped the Detroit Lions 45-28 in the Wild Card round.
And people are still betting the over.
At press time, Sunday’s total has already moved up to 61.5 points, and there’s no signs of slowing down just yet. Casual fans tend to bet the over, especially in parlays, and there will be millions of casual fans watching the league’s top two offenses trading blows at the Georgia Dome. They might even match the NFL’s regular-season record total of 63 points, set in 2000 when the St. Louis Rams – the Greatest Show on Turf – beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-24.
To Air Is Human
Once upon a time, the under was the sharp choice for betting on the NFL. That seems like ancient history now; the over has been profitable across the board this year at 138-123 (52.9%), and even more profitable during these playoffs at 5-3. It’s all about offense in the modern NFL, and this Sunday, we’ll see the best the league has to offer in the Falcons and the Packers.
It’s incredible what Matt Ryan has been able to accomplish this season. He led the league in yards per attempt (9.3), touchdown percentage (7.1) and passer rating (117.1), and he’s the runaway favorite at –800 to win the MVP award. But the Falcons also have a quality running game with Devonta Freeman (4.8 yards per carry) and Tevin Coleman (4.4 yards per carry) combining for 19 rushing touchdowns. Don’t forget about kicker Matt Bryant; he’s 34-for-37 on field goals and 56-for-57 on extra points. No wonder the over is 14-2-1 for the Falcons.
Aaron Rodgers is second on the MVP odds list at +450, although he did lead the NFL with 40 touchdown throws during the regular season – Ryan had 38. However, Rodgers might not have WR Jordy Nelson (ribs) by his side in Atlanta, and fellow wideouts Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) will be playing hurt. The over is still 12-6 for Green Bay this year, but with those injuries and that massive total, Sunday’s result could change.