Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (3.5, 50.5)
The Atlanta Falcons are on the verge of clinching the top seed in the NFC. The Detroit Lions are just looking to end their dismal season on a high note when the teams collide at Ford Field on Saturday night. NFC South champion Atlanta can secure home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs with a triumph in the Motor City. The Falcons are wrapping up the road portion of their regular season but have lost two of their last three away from home.
Detroit enters the contest looking to snap its six-game losing streak. Things hit rock bottom for the Lions on Sunday, when they suffered a 38-10 loss in Arizona to the Cardinals, who were coming off their ninth consecutive defeat - an embarrassing 58-0 drubbing at the hands of Seattle. Detroit has not won since posting a 31-14 victory at Jacksonville on Nov. 4.TV:
8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE:
Falcons -3.5, O/U 50.5.
ABOUT THE FALCONS (12-2):
Atlanta bounced back from a 10-point road loss to Carolina in a big way as it recorded a dominating 34-0 home triumph over the New York Giants on Sunday. The Falcons ran more than they passed for just the second time this season, gaining 125 yards on 35 carries - not including three kneel-downs by their quarterbacks - while attempting just 28 passes. They ran 37 times and passed on 29 occasions in a victory over Philadelphia on Oct. 28. Matt Ryan broke two of his franchise records Sunday. Ryan has now thrown for 4,202 yards on 369 completions through 14 games. He had 4,177 passing yards last season and completed 357 passes in 2010.ABOUT THE LIONS (4-10):
After winning 10 games last season, Detroit will be hard-pressed to record half as many victories this campaign. After facing Atlanta, the Lions host the Chicago Bears, who are very much in contention for a playoff spot. Coach Jim Schwartz is not planning on conceding anything despite his team's downward spiral. "You have something to prove every week regardless of winning streak, losing streak, what happened the previous week," he said. "People are competitive, people have pride. People have confidence in themselves. I think that's what helps people bounce back from stuff like this." Four of Detroit's last five losses have been by seven points or less.TRENDS:
* Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Detroit.
* Under is 4-1 in Falcons’ last five games overall.
* Lions are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win.
1. Lions WR Calvin Johnson needs 182 yards to break Hall of Famer Jerry Rice's single-season record of 1,848 receiving yards.
2. Ryan is the only QB in Falcons history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He is 33-4 at home and has won his last 11 starts at the Georgia Dome.
3. After throwing 41 touchdown passes last year, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford has only 17 this season.