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MNF: Falcons vs. Packers odds, pick & prediction

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October 3rd, 2020

The Atlanta Falcons will try to reverse their horrific start to the 2020 NFL season on Monday night, when they travel to Green Bay to take on the undefeated Packers.

Tue, October 6 2020, 12:15 AM

Green Bay Packers

Spread

-7

Moneyline

-345

Total

O 56.5

Atlanta Falcons

Spread

+7

Moneyline

+265

Total

U 56.5

The Packers are currently favored by seven points, and the total for the game is set at 56.5, the highest in the NFL this weekend.

The Falcons have blown huge leads each of the last two weeks, becoming the first team in NFL history to blow fourth-quarter leads of 15 or more points multiple times in the same season.

Why can’t Atlanta close out a game?

The humiliating manner of defeat has not yet cost head coach Dan Quinn his job, but if his seat were any hotter he would be dealing with third-degree burns.

Two weeks ago, they led the Dallas Cowboys 39-24 with just under eight minutes to play, before allowing sixteen unanswered points, capped by a 46 yard field goal as time expired. Last week, they entered the fourth quarter leading 26-10 over the Bears, but allowed Chicago to score 20 points in the final six and a half minutes to succumb to defeat again.

Both games saw the Falcons unable to gain first downs down the stretch, but after scoring 26 points in the first 36 minutes against the Bears, they went 24 minutes without a point. Last weekend, they punted four times in their last five drives, with a missed field goal ending the other drive.

Penalties were a critical part of both comebacks, while special teams miscues and turnovers have compounded the problem. However, their defense’s inability to get stops on third down, combined with being the second-worst pass defense in the NFL, has been the biggest issue in both collapses.

Packers rolling despite injury issues

The Packers will be excited to face a team struggling in that area, as they rank fifth in the NFL this season having converted 50-percent of their third down snaps. This is despite star WR Davante Adams missing time last week, and the Packers basically having just three wideouts on their team against the Saints on Sunday.

One of the biggest reasons for their success has been the production of the run game. The Packers rank second in the league in yards per game on the ground, which has allowed them to lead the league in time of possession.  It has also helped set up their very effective play-action passing game.

This balanced attack has worn teams down, as the Packers have scored at least 37 points in each of their first three games. It also has helped hide some of the deficiencies in their own run defense, which were exposed at times by the Saints last weekend.

Falcons and Packers statistics

TeamPassing YardsRushing YardsPassing Yards AllowedRushing Yards Allowed
Atlanta Falcons
309.3 (3rd)
109.7 (18th)
350.3 (31st)
113.0 (13th)
Green Bay Packers
288.0 (6th)
171.7 (2nd)
247.0 (18th)
115.0 (14th)

Falcons vs. Packers injury report

The Falcons could be without WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, both of whom were limited in practice this week. DE Dante Fowler Jr. missed Thursday’s practice with an ankle issue, and was limited on Friday.

Green Bay WR Allen Lazard suffered an abdominal injury last week that required surgery, and he will miss the game this weekend. Fellow WR Davante Adams was limited in practice this week, and is expected to make his return from injury. LB Za’Darius Smith is questionable with an ankle injury.

Who will win Monday night's clash between the Falcons and the Packers?

Falcons vs. Packers betting trends

The Falcons have covered the spread in their last five road games, winning four of them straight up. The total has gone Over in their last four games, going back to last season. However, they have lost four of their last five games played in the month of October.

The Packers have covered four of their last five games going back to last season, and have won nine of their last 10 straight up. They also are unbeaten in their last seven home games. The total has gone Over in each of their last five games, and their last five contests against the Falcons have also gone Over the number.

The good news for Falcons fans is that it is quite unlikely they will blow another big lead this weekend. The bad news is that they may never lead at all. Green Bay could easily be favored by more, given the frailties of the Atlanta defense and the proficient play of the Packers on offense.

Despite the historic trends, I like this game to go under the inflated total, as the Packers will look to ride their running game in the second half. Green Bay will cover the spread, sending the Falcons to an 0-4 start and possibly sending their head coach to the unemployment line.

Score prediction: Green Bay 31, Atlanta 20

Picks: Packers -7, Under 56.5

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