NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Falcons 45-16. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Falcons are double-digit favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into Week 17.
The Atlanta Falcons are playoff-bound and have reason to win in Week 17; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are near the bottom of the NFL standings for the 2011 season and might love nothing more than a loss that improves their 2012 NFL Draft position. Is it any wonder that the Falcons are massive favorites in the Week 17 match-up between the two teams?
SB Nation's odds partner OddsShark has the Falcons as double-digit favorites, with the line opening at 10.5 and rising to 11.5, even 12 points.
The Falcons are playing for the No. 5 spot in the NFC playoff hierarchy, which would save them from a trip to see the New Orleans Saints or San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 2011 NFL playoffs. If the Falcons can beat out the Detroit Lions for that No. 5 seed, they will play either the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants in the NFC Wild Card round.