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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NFL Predictions 2014 Week 12: Browns Vs. Falcons

Cleveland Browns Vs. Atlanta Falcons: ATL -3 (-120) (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Are people sold on the Falcons?  Sportsbooks didn't take any chances because they reopened this game at -3 with juice after Week 11, and that's where it still is today. In the advanced line last week it was only -1.5. So far 61% of the bets are on Atlanta.

Bottom Line

I don't think very much of Atlanta at all, but here I am taking them for a second week in a row. Why?

Their defense is still bad, they make head-scratching decisions in the 4th quarter, and they remain a terrible team on third down.

Like I wrote last week, there is still hope for this team. Strangely, they sit atop the division with a losing record, and have a chance to retain that with a beatable Browns team coming to town. Matt Ryan also keeps them in most games with the passing game.

The primary reason why I think this pick cashes though is because of the Browns. Nobody can tell me what they excel at, and they've been the benefactor of a healthy turnover differential this season. I think the only thing they can hang their hat on is their defense doesn't fold in crunch time, but is that going to be enough? Josh Gordon returns, but how impactful will he be after missing so much time?

We are also past the halfway mark of the season and the Falcons have only played three games in the dome (2-1).  It's possible that we could see an uptick in their rankings once that home-road split evens out, especially given how much they have to play for.

This is one of those hold-your-breath picks, but I think it could be the right time to get on the Falcons, and we get them at a good price, too. This line should probably be -3.5, and I won't be surprised if it moves there at some point before Sunday.

NFL Pick: ATL -3.

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