Sunday Night Football Predictions: Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, 10/9/11, 8:20 PM EST, TV:  NBC
Opening Point Spread:  Green Bay -4
Current Betting Line:  Green Bay -5.5
Opening Total:  53
Current Total:  53
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones has become a favorite target for QB Matt Ryan through four games

Green Bay travels to Atlanta for a nationally-televised contest against Atlanta, as this will be the third meeting between the two teams over the past year.  “It’s definitely going to have a playoff feel,” commented Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.  “We’re fully aware of how they feel about us.”  The Packers ended the Falcons season last year with a 48-21 win as one-point road underdogs inside tonight’s venue during the playoffs.     Including postseason games, the team has won 10 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for the franchise since the 1961-62 seasons.  Green Bay is 16-5 in Sunday night contests and 14-8 ATS on the road.

The Packers lead the NFL in scoring 37 points a game, as their 148 points this season are the most in franchise history through the first four games of a season.  Green Bay is led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who ranks first in the league with a 124.6 passer rating, while throwing 12 touchdown passes and his 1,325 passing yards are the most for any signal caller in the franchise’s history.  In last week’s win over Denver, Rodgers became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 400 passing yards, four touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game.

Atlanta has alternated wins and losses in its first four games of the year, coming away with a 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks as six-point road favorites last week.  The Falcons have already picked up a home underdog upset on Sunday Night Football earlier this year, grabbing a 35-31 win over the Philadelphia Eagles when getting 2.5 points.  Running back Michael Turner is likely to play a big role in this game, as he ran for 231 yards on 49 carries in two games against the Packers before being limited to just 39 yards in last year’s playoff loss.  Atlanta is 4-15 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 7 points.

The Falcons are led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who is 2-0 against the Packers during the regular season, completing 74 percent of his passes for 391 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.  His quarterback rating is 104.8 in those games, while the team is 16-0 when he finishes a game over the century mark in that category.  Wide receiver Julio Jones has become a favorite target in the offense during his rookie season, setting a single-game franchise record with 11 receptions last week and has totaled 242 yards over the last two games.

Bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 5-1 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Packers are 0-4 ATS in Week 5.

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