Lions vs. Falcons Free NFL Week 16 Picks and Odds Breakdown

Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons passes the ball. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Following a brutal loss to the San Francisco 49ers on the road, the Atlanta Falcons (6-8) return home to face the Lions (2-11-1). Detroit’s Week 15 result was a different story as they shocked the NFL world by defeating the Arizona Cardinals. 

Can the Falcons beat this new and improved Detroit team? Below, we’ll take a look at the early NFL odds and best sportsbook to bet with. 

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, December 26, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Falcons entered Week 15 as 9.5-point underdogs and now are the home favorite for this matchup. As for the Lions, they were 11-point underdogs last week and remain the team getting the points. According to Heritage Sports, Atlanta is a 6-point favorite over Detroit with the over/under at 43.

The Matchup

The Falcons entered last week with a 12% chance at making the playoffs and came out with just a 2% chance as they fell 31-13 in San Francisco. Atlanta’s run defense was a huge problem, allowing 162 rushing yards and 3 rushing scores to the Niners and another 113 yards in the air.

Their offensive line didn’t hold up any better in the trenches and allowed Matt Ryan to get sacked three times and hit another 10 total times. As of Week 16, Atlanta ranks 26th for posting an average of 18.8 points per game.

The narrative is similar but different for the Lions. They managed to come up with a stunning 30-12 win at home over the best team in the league. Quarterback Jared Goff finished the day 21-of-26 passing for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns for a 139.7 passer rating, marking his best showing as a Lion.

Third-string running back Craig Reynolds surprisingly led the backfield for the second straight week with 112 yards on 26 carries. His back-to-back performance earned him a promotion to the active roster for the remainder of the season. And credit to Detroit’s defense that was able to hold a Cardinals team that was averaging 28 points a game before last week. 

Just when you think Detroit is lucky for once this season, Goff gets placed on the COVID-19/reserve list. He will need to have two negative tests (if he is vaccinated) 24 hours in advance of Sunday’s matchup. If he doesn’t, then back up QB Tim Boyle would be thrown into the fire, which could put them back in their losing ways. 


The Falcons have yet to find consistency on both sides of the ball. It seems that the only consistent thing they have going for them is that Matt Ryan stays running for his life every week––and it’s surprising that he’s gone this long without a severe injury.

As for the Lions, they sure shocked the world last week but there’s no shot they’ll be able to play that well again, especially if Goff isn’t around to lead them.

This shouldn’t be a game you want to throw money on for your NFL picks, but take Atlanta with the touchdown if you do. 

NFL Pick: Atlanta Falcons -6 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports)

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Atlanta Falcons -6 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.