Pick 3: Atlanta vs. San Francisco and St. Louis vs. Minnesota

Pick 3: Atlanta vs. San Francisco and St. Louis vs. Minnesota

The Teaser: Pair Atlanta and St. Louis

Game 1: Atlanta vs. San Francisco

The Initial Line:

Atlanta -7 away vs. San Francisco

The Take:

Add 8 points to Atlanta’s line

The Final Line:

Atlanta +1

The Breakdown:

Atlanta suffered a sloppy home loss to their divisional foe Tampa Bay, as they fell in OT 23-20. San Francisco continued their string of miserable play, as they lost yet again to St. Louis 27-6. San Francisco has played poorly all year, and the coach finally had enough at Kaepernick at QB. Blaine Gabbert will get the nod this weekend vs. Atlanta, as they are trying to do anything to get this offense clicking. They are currently averaging 13.6 PPG, worst in the league by over 4 points. Atlanta’s offense ranks 6th at 26.6 PPG, although their main focus will be limiting mistakes. They have a potent offense behind Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman, but the turnovers have killed them lately as they had 4 in the game vs TB despite gaining 496 yds. Atlanta is clearly the better team in the matchup, and needs to beat these types of teams to stay primed for a playoff spot. SF will be trying to guide a new QB into action, and will be without veteran Vernon Davis as he was traded to Denver last week. Expect a bounce back in a big way for Atlanta this week.

Final Stat: Atlanta has the #3 QB for passing yds (Matt Ryan), the #1 receiver for receiving yards (Julio Jones) and the #1 rusher in rushing yards (Devonta Freeman) in the NFL.

Game 2: St. Louis vs. Minnesota

The Initial Line:

St. Louis +2.5 away vs. Minnesota

The Take:

Add 8 points to St. Louis’s line

The Final Line:

St. Louis +10.5

The Breakdown:

St. Louis was able to handle the San Francisco offense easily in a 27-6 win this past weekend. Minnesota pulled out the road win against division rival Chicago 23-20 as well. Both of these teams are now in the playoff hunt as they sit above .500. This is a critical game for either team, and their offenses should be dictated by how well the running game works. Todd Gurley has been the best running back in the league the last 4 games, averaging over 125 rush yds/game (rookie record). Adrian Peterson is having an outstanding year after missing all of last season, as he sits 3rd in the NFL for rush yds (633). St. Louis has been able to contain the run slightly better (9th) than Minnesota (15th). This should be a great game to watch, and I expect this one to come down to who limits mistakes in the 4th quarter. Take St. Louis with some extra points in a tight game here.

Final Stat:Todd Gurley ranks 5th in the NFL in rush yds, despite essentially only playing in 4 games (had 9 rush yds in the 5th game).

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