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Wildcard Round: Falcons vs. Cardinals Betting Trends + Pick

NFL Online Betting – NFC Wildcard Atlanta @ Arizona

The Atlanta Falcons (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS, 7-9 O/U) are arguably the biggest surprise story of the 2008 NFL season. Led by gifted rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner and first-year head coach Mike Smith, the high-flying Falcons make their surprise appearance in the playoffs riding a three-game winning streak in the BetUS Sportsbook. The Arizona Cardinals (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS, 11-5 O/U) are making their first playoff appearance in a decade and have one of the league’s most explosive offenses.  

On Saturday, the two surprise playoff participants will hook up in an AFC Wildcard contest at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

The Falcons are coming off a solid 31-27 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, though they failed to cover the spread as a 14-point home favorite in the BetUS Sportsbook.

Atlanta got a spotty performance from Ryan as he went just 10-for-21 for 160 yards with one interception and two touchdowns. The Falcons got 208 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries from running back Michael Turner while fellow back Jerious Norwood added 56 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries.

“We came a long way,” said Norwood. “Whoever would have thought we’d be in the playoffs?”

“We’re excited about having the opportunity to continue to play, “ said Ryan. “As we’ve seen in the past, it doesn’t matter where you’re seeded in the playoffs. It’s about having a chance and we’re happy to have a chance.”

The Cardinals are coming off a convincing 34-21 win over the lowly Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, snapping a two-game losing streak while easily covering the spread for the first time in three games for NFL sports betting backers as a 7-point home favorite.

Veteran quarterback Kurt Warner completed 19 of 30 passes for 263 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, hooking up with wideout Larry Fitzgerald five times for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

“Somewhere in the second quarter we woke up and we played like the Cardinals,” Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said, “and that was nice to see.”

Here is a look at tonight’s key trends, followed by my in-depth analysis and NFL Free Pick.

The Falcons are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0.
The Falcons are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
The Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
The Cardinals are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog.
The Under is 6-0 in Falcons last 6 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0.
The Over is 5-0 in Cardinals last 5 games as a home underdog of 0.5-3.0.
The Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Arizona.
The Over is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
The Falcons are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.

NFL Odds

Atlanta Falcons -1½ -110
Arizona Cardinals +1½ -110

Over 51½ -110
Under 51½ -110

Analysis: I know the Cardinals are playing at home in this matchup, but I really like the Atlanta Falcons to win this game despite being on the road as the Falcons are playing excellent football heading into the postseason while the Cardinals limped into the playoffs losing two of their last three and four of six overall.

I like the Falcons and the Over in what looks like a high-scoring affair waiting to happen.

NFL Free Picks: Atlanta +1½ Points/Over 51½ Total Points

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