Falcons Still Fighting For Division Title as They Face Steelers
By Charles Jay
Well, the Atlanta Falcons are still in the NFC South lead, even though they are like the rest of the teams in the division, doing whatever they can to separate themselves from the .500 mark. To their credit, they fought hard and caught the back door against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, covering at BetAnySports. Now they go up against the Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL betting action that takes place at 1 PM ET on Sunday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Matt Ryan is bearing in on the 4000-yard mark, so this Falcon team is taking the shape of a squad that will go down swinging, whatever the occasion. But they have lost to all of the AFC North teams so far, and their defense is not held up their end of the bargain, allowing 411 yards per game. The Steelers have taken on more of a Jekyll and Hyde personality than almost any other team in the AFC. Coming off a game in which their defense was batted around like a rag doll against the New Orleans Saints at home, they went on the road to Cincinnati and exploded in the fourth quarter for 25 points, beating the division leading Bengals by three touchdowns.
Pittsburgh is 8-5 straight-up on the season, and they are a half-game behind Cincinnati in the division. They have compiled a 6-7 record against the football pointspread. The Falcons are 5-8 straight-up, and by virtue of the tiebreaker, they are the leaders in the NFC South. They are all even at 6-6 against the spread.
NFL Betting Odds – Steelers vs Falcons
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, to the Steelers are the slight road favorite:
Pittsburgh Steelers -2
Atlanta Falcons +2
Over 55 points -110
Under 55 points -110
The Steelers have amassed some very interesting offensive numbers. They have held the ball for an average of 33 minutes a game, and Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 4055 yards. Wide receiver Antonio Brown has been his main target, with 105 catches for 1375 yards, which is much more than the next wide receiver on Pittsburgh’s list, Markus Wheaton (43 receptions). But Martavis Bryant was a big-play threat for certain on Sunday, as he caught a 94-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger during that 25-point explosion.
What BetAnySports customers have to keep an eye on is the hip injury suffered by Julio Jones up in Green Bay. In that game he had eleven catches for 259 yards, setting a franchise record. Jones has 1428 receiving yards for the season, and he will play if at all possible.
When evaluating the total on this game, NFL bettors have to take into account that neither one of these teams have shined with regard to their stop unit. Both of them allowed about 8 yards per pass attempt; Atlanta has only 15 quarterback sacks, so Roethlisberger should have plenty of time to operate. The Falcons have allowed 6.2 yards per play this season, permitting the opponent to convert 46% of their third downs. The Steelers have allowed 6.1 yards per play, but oddly, they have been very efficient when defending on third down, allowing opponents only 35% success.
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