A Week 13 loss to Arizona proved too much to take for Green Bay’s management. The Packers lost 20-17 as a 14-point favorite and fired head coach Mike McCarthy, who was 125-77-2 in 13 seasons as Green Bay’s head coach with nine playoff appearances and a Super Bowl victory in 2010. Game management decisions by McCarthy were questioned, and Packers fans and bettors suffered many heartbreaking losses during his tenure including the 2014 NFC Championship game when the Packers blew a 16-0 halftime lead at Seattle along with a 19-7 lead in the closing minutes before losing in overtime. Even without their former head coach, the Packers are being favored in Week 14 NFL betting much to the confusion of the wagering masses.
The loss to Arizona will be forgotten soon and much easier to take as the Packers are playing out the string in December. How will the Packers respond the McCarthy’s firing? Teams often play with more purpose and focus following a firing or key injury, and my prediction will include less scoring than expected when the Falcons fly North for a meaningless regular season game in December with near freezing temperature at Lambeau Field.
Atlanta Falcons (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (4-7-1)
Sunday Dec. 9th – Lambeau Field – 1:00pm ET
Week 14 NFL Betting Line: Green Bay -5 (51)
The total has actually risen, but I’m not following that betting lead. Neither team has shown much offensive punch in recent weeks and Atlanta had just 131 yards offense in last week’s 26-13 home loss to Baltimore. These two teams are struggling to score recently with Green Bay scoring 19.7 points per game over their last three contests while the Falcons have averaged just 17.3 over their last three games. Those scoring numbers over that stretch also include just 283.7 yards per game for Atlanta and 312.7 for Green Bay.
Two terrific passers dual in this Week 14 NFL betting battle, but the Falcons pass defense has been strong over their last three games allowing just 170.7 passing yards per game against Baltimore, New Orleans and Dallas. The Falcons defense is better with Pro Bowl middle linebacker Deion Jones returning from injury last week and registering a team-high 15 tackles. The Packers pass defense is top-6 this season allowing 224.0 passing yards per game and 221.0 over their last three contests.
The Falcons have lost four straight games, and Atlanta has been the most disappointing team in the NFC. The Packers also had playoff projections prior to the season. Green Bay has lost five of six and are short handed on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be sitting on a big game, but right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) is doubtful and both starting guards are questionable to play leaving the offense in flux. Check status on game day, but preferred play is under this overinflated TOTAL.
Week 14 NFL Betting Free Pick – UNDER 51.0
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.