Written by Rohit Ghosh
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NFL Wild Card Saturday: LA Rams vs Atlanta Falcons
NFL on a Saturday? Yup, that's exactly what we've got this weekend as the NFL slate gives us two matchups on a Saturday for wild card weekend.
Let's take a closer look at the matchup in Los Angeles that should have plenty of public and sharp action. The Rams, in just their second season in L.A., get set to host the Atlanta Falcons at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
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The Rams opened up at 5-point favorites at home before some public action pushed it up 1-to-1.5 points ,depending on when and where you're looking. The total saw similar movement, just the other way; the total settled in at 48 or 48.5 after opening at 50.
Betting Line: Los Angeles Rams -6.5
At the time of publication, the public was about 50-50 in terms of laying or taking the points.
63 percent of the action on the total has been on the OVER.
All of AccuScore's NFL picks
NFL Expert Picks – Wildcard Weekend
• The total has gone OVER in five of the Rams' last five games.
• The total has gone UNDER in five of Atlanta's last five games.
• The Rams are 4-10-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 15 games at home.
• The UNDER is 4-0 in the Falcons' last four matchups against a team with a winning record.
• The Rams are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games.
What to Watch For
Make vs the Pass Rush: Back in 2015, the Atlanta Falcons went ahead and passed on RB Todd Gurley. Dan Quinn could have had Gurley, but went ahead and selected pass rusher Vic Beasley. It seems to be working out just fine on both sides, but there's no doubt Gurley will look to remind Atlanta what they missed out on. He put up over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scored close to 20 TDs this year -- he's easily one of best weapons any team has in the backfield.
Gurley is projected to finish with 111 yards on 16-to-17 carries. He averages 1 TD per sim. He also adds close to 30 receiving yards on three receptions.
Falcons' Defense: The Falcons just might be one of the tougher matchups for the Rams on the ground. They have a top-10 defense that has allowed just one team in their last six games to rush for over 100 yards. In the same vain, Atlanta has allowed more than 23 points in only two games this season. They're pretty, pretty good at staying within a TD given the improved defense in the second half of the season, and QB Matt Ryan getting back on track of late.
The Falcons defense is projected to force more than 1 takeaway in Saturday's game, with there being about two times the probability of an INT than a recovered fumble.
Ryan is projected to finish with 239 passing yards, and 1-to-2 TDs. He averages close to four times as many TDs as he does INTs. .
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Analyst Pick:: Atlanta covers on the road.
The Falcons are 10-3 SU and 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games played on the west coast.