Falcons Can Wrap Up Home-Field Advantage At Detroit

By: Willie Bee | Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions
NFL Betting Preview
12/22/2012 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Falcons -3, O/U 51
(click for latest NFL odds)
Television: ESPN

Atlanta Falcons: Coming off just their second loss of the season, the Falcons (12-2 straight-up, 8-5-1 against the spread) got back into the win column with a 34-0 whitewashing of the Giants in Week 15. Quarterback Matt Ryan tossed three touchdown passes, two of them to wide receiver Julio Jones, and Atlanta ended with nearly an 18-minute advantage on the clock in a game that closed as a Pick'em. The final fell more than two touchdowns short of the total to mark the fourth "under" in the last five Atlanta contests. The Falcons are 5-2 on the NFL highway this season, going 4-2-1 against the spread and 4-3 "over." Atlanta can sew up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs with a victory this week or a San Francisco loss. The Falcons have won the last two meetings with Detroit, most recently in 2011 with a 23-16 victory in Motown as 4½-point underdogs.

Detroit Lions: "Off the rails" is how Coach Jim Schwartz described the current state of the Lions (4-10 SU, 4-9-1 ATS) following their sixth consecutive loss last week at Arizona. Detroit took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter before the Cardinals scored 24 unanswered points, and QB Matthew Stafford had two of his three interceptions returned for touchdowns. The game closed with the Lions laying 5½-6 points to an Arizona squad that had dropped its nine previous trips to the gridiron. The Lions have won just two of their six home games this season, going 1-4-1 against the spread and four of the six contests jumping above the total. Betting the high side of totals in Detroit tilts has been very profitable at 10-4 overall this season, but four of the last five in this series stayed "under" the mark, and the past five clashes in Detroit also failed to reach the number.

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