Record-high total points betting line for Falcons-Packers

Atlanta won its previous matchup against the Packers Oct. 30, 2016,  at Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Caption
Atlanta won its previous matchup against the Packers Oct. 30, 2016, at Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Credit: Kevin C. Cox

Credit: Kevin C. Cox

The high-scoring offenses for the Falcons and Packers prompted bookmakers to set a record-high "over/under" total in early betting for Sunday's NFC championship game.

As of Monday morning, the total points wager for the game was set at 60 points. Bettors wager whether the combined points scored by the teams will be over or under that total (a tie results in a push and bettors get their wager back).

According to a database compiled by VegasInsider.com handicapper Marc Lawrence, the previous high "total" line for a playoff game was 59.5 for the 2011 wild-card game between the Saints and Lions. The total went way over when the Saints won 45-28 at Detroit.

Covers.com reported that the highest total line for a regular-season game in its database was 61.5 for Rams-49ers game during the 2000 season. The total went "under" when the rams beat the 49ers 34-24.

The Falcons are favored by four points over the Packers in early betting. There are good reasons why the over/under line is set so high.

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The Falcons had the league’s top-scoring offense during the regular season with 33.8 points per game and then beat the Seahawks 36-20 in Sunday’s divisional playoff game. (The Falcons had a chance to score again but ran out the clock to end the game after gaining a first-and-goal at the two-yard line). The total for Falcons games at the Georgia Dome this season went “over” for all eight regular-season games and also against the Seahawks.

The Packers averaged 30.8 points per game over the final six games of the regular season. They beat the Giants 38-13 in the wild-card round at home and won 34-31 at Dallas in the divisional round on Sunday.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Packers counterpart Aaron Rodgers have a history of leading high-scoring teams into the playoffs.

According to VegasInsider.com, the Falcons have gone “over” the betting total in five of six postseason games with Ryan at QB, including all four games at the Georgia Dome. The Packers have gone “over” in seven of 10 road playoff games with Rodgers.

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