The Green Bay Packers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers, riding an eight-game winning streak into Sunday’s NFC Championship Game as five-point road underdogs on the NFL point spreads against the Atlanta Falcons at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The visitor has also gone a remarkable 10–1 against the spread in the past 11 meetings between the teams, something the host Falcons will try to change.
The Packers nearly pulled off the straight-up upset of the Falcons when they last met in Week 8 of the regular season, falling 33–32 but covering the spread as three-point road underdogs. Atlanta wide receiver Mohamed Sanu caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Ryan with 31 seconds remaining to win the game after Rodgers had put Green Bay ahead 32–26 a little more than three minutes earlier.
Unlike the Dallas Cowboys, who lost to the Packers 34–31 last week partially because they left a little too much time on the clock for Rodgers, the Falcons did not in Week 8 and escaped with the victory to end a four-game skid in the series.
The previous meeting two years ago saw Atlanta nearly rally all the way back from a 31–7 halftime deficit at Lambeau Field but still cover as 13.5-point road underdogs in a 43–37 loss. Those two matchups alone help justify the largest over/under total in league history of 61 points.
Prior to that, though, the under had cashed in three of four meetings, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, all during the regular season. The exception came in the 2011 playoffs when Green Bay knocked out the top-seeded Falcons in a 48–21 rout as a one-point underdog at the Georgia Dome en route to winning the Super Bowl.
That was the real coming-out party for Rodgers, who threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns.
Atlanta still remembers that game, especially Ryan, who has rebounded nicely and is the favorite to win the MVP award for the first time this year.
This is Ryan’s best team yet, even though it won two less games in the regular season than in 2010 and ended up as the No. 2 seed. The same cannot be said for Rodgers and the Packers, who could be without top wide receiver Jordy Nelson (ribs) again and who did not have a 500-yard rusher this season.