Despite Atlanta coming off a loss and playing in a hostile environment the betting community aren't putting much stock in Seattle's legendary 12th man to disrupt Sunday's game. Currently the Falcons are being favored by as much as 5.5 pts on the road. While this ostensibly equates to an 8.5 pt favorite in Vegas (home team normally gives three points) there's good reason for it, let's look inside the stats.
This line is a condemnation of Seattle's offense more than anything. The 31st ranked Seahawks attack has been very poor in 2011 as they are only 214.7 yards of total offense per game, while they are also 31st in scoring just 10 pts per game on average. Though Atlanta's defense has been lackluster thus far, there's not really much threat from Seattle's offense barring a complete meltdown.
On the other side of the ball the Seattle defense has been fairly bad also, which doesn't bode well when facing an Atlanta attack which featured two receivers combining for over 100 yards each last week. The Seahawks are allowing an exceptionally high 7.7 yards per pass attempt, which should allow Matt Ryan to move the ball easily.
Despite the concerns about the Seahawks offense the line has been set fairly high at as much as 40 pts. I'm fairly surprised bookies are willing to give the over/under this high. Based purely on the first three weeks of 2011 these two teams have combined for 30 pts on average. The rationale is that both team's defenses will let them down on Sunday, but I feel this is a very high mark to hit and by game day this line will be much closer. If you're looking to take the under you should probably take advantage of it sooner, rather than later.
When it's all said and done I think Atlanta wins this game handily. They simply have too many weapons for Seattle to deal with on offense, while on defense their pass rush should give Tavaris Jackson fits.
For more on the Falcons visit The Falcoholic. For more on the Seahawks head over to Field Gulls.