That's why the spread for Sunday's divisional playoff game in Atlanta is less than a field goal.
Typically, home field is worth about three points in the NFL for betting lines. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Falcons were laying 2.5 points (it's the only spread this weekend of less than a field goal) so we can assume that if the game were played on a neutral field or in Seattle, the Seahawks would be favored.
Seattle has won eight of nine and covered seven of those games. The Seahawks remind bettors of the wild-card teams that surged all the way to Super Bowl titles (see: 2010 Packers).
“They're hot and the public has been riding them,” MGM sportsbook manager Jeff Stoneback said. “On a neutral field, they'd probably be a one-point favorite over the Falcons.”
|The home of the Super Bowl|
Bettors also know Atlanta is 0-3 in the playoffs with coach Mike Smith and QB Matt Ryan. One of those flops came two years ago, when the Falcons were whipped 48-21 by Green Bay in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta was the top seed then, too.
The rest didn't do the Falcons any good two years ago, but it might Sunday. Defensive end John Abraham (10 sacks) used the off week to heal from an ankle injury. Corner Dunta Robinson (concussion) and SS William Moore (hamstring) also should be at full strength, thanks to the extra rest.
If Seattle keeps winning, it would be the worst possible outcome for Vegas sportsbooks. The Seahawks opened the season at 75-to-1 to win the Super Bowl.
And weekly bettors have been riding Seattle since they destroyed Arizona 58-0 on Dec. 9.
“I'm sure come game day we'll be rooting for the Falcons,” Stoneback said.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Will Brinson @willbrinson, Ryan Wilson @ryanwilson_07 and Josh Katzowitz @joshkatzowitz.