NFC and AFC Conference Championship Games Sunday, January 22, 2017
Green Bay Packers Vs Atlanta Falcons at 3:05 pm
Pittsburgh Steelers Vs New England Patriots at 6:40 pm
Two more Sundays are left with NFL games this season. The first one is coming up this week in the NFC and AFC Conference championship games, the winners of which will play in Super Bowl 51. The NFC game is up first when the Green Bay Packers will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Kickoff is at 12:05 PM PST. The Falcons are the favorite for this one by 5 points, but that line will be moving up and down as kickoff gets closer and more money starts coming in. The over/under is a high one at 61 points.
The Falcons play in a dome, so the weather won’t be a factor in this one, which is good because as of now, thunderstorms are predicted for Sunday. This will be the last game played at the Georgia Dome by the way, so the Falcons may have a slight emotional advantage playing at home to go along with the normal home-field advantage. According to the ESPN Power Football Index, Atlanta has a 67% chance to win this game, but Dallas had about the same chance to beat Green Bay last weekend, and we all saw what happened to them.
I had a hunch the Pack was going to beat the Boys, and my hunch carries over to this game as well. Dallas was a great team this year, especially at home, and they have a bright future, but I wasn’t sold on their rookie QB getting them too deep in the playoffs. I don’t think they should’ve let Romo play in the last regular season game. True, the game had no bearing on the seedings, but I think it threw their rhythm and momentum out of whack, as they only lost to one team this season (Giants) before the loss to the Eagles on the final day.
Looking at the Falcons, they really didn’t beat too many great teams this year. They beat the Saints, 49er’s and Carolina twice each this year, and that’s good for more than half of their wins. Matt Ryan has only won once in the playoffs prior to this season's win against Seattle, granted it was also against Green Bay four years ago. He is coming off his best season in his 9 year career, but playoff success, especially as a QB, goes a long way at this stage of the season, and Rodgers easily has that advantage. I would take Green Bay again this week with the moneyline, certainly with the 5 points. It could be a shootout, but I think this one comes in under 61 points. The winner of this will play the Patriots for Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5 in Houston, TX, where ticket prices have dropped , by the way, since Dallas’ early exit.