The surging New Orleans Saints (9-1) host the Atlanta Falcons (4-6) on Thanksgiving Day in a prime-time NFC South showdown. Kickoff is set for 8:20 PM EST on November 22nd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the game will be broadcast on NBC.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Saints listed as 14-point home favorites. That line has shifted by just half of a point after early betting, as New Orleans is currently available at -13.5. The total for this matchup is 59.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 12 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Saints vs Falcons Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Atlanta dropped to 4-6 on the season last weekend after a tough 22-19 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Falcons trailed 19-9 midway through the 4th quarter before scoring ten unanswered points to tie the game with under two minutes left. WR Julio Jones was a big threat through the air all game long, scoring the game-tying touchdown on a beautiful 34-yard pass from Matt Ryan. However, it was not meant to be for Atlanta, as K Brett Maher hit a game-winning 42-yard field goal as time expired to clinch the critical win for Dallas. The Falcons have now lost five out of their last eight games and need to turn things around immediately if they hope to mount a comeback in the tough NFC South. The offense has certainly done their part, as Ryan has completed 71.1 percent of his passes for 3,306 yards and 22 touchdowns in ten games. They have had a bit of a harder time moving the ball on the ground, as Devonta Freeman has been out for over half the season with a groin issues. As a whole, Atlanta is currently averaging 26.3 points per game (9th overall) on 403.4 total yards of offense per game.
The Falcons haven’t looked good at all on defense this year, giving up an average of 27.6 points per game (29th overall) on 405.2 yards of total offense. They have been especially poor against the pass, as opponents are averaging a healthy 284.1 yards per game through the air (29th overall).
New Orleans kept their momentum going last weekend, embarrassing the defending Super Bowl champions 485-7. The Saints dominated Philadelphia on both sides of the ball, as they put up a ridiculous 546 yards of total offense while giving up just 196 yards defensively. QB Drew Brees is playing like a man possessed right now, throwing for 2,964 yards and 25 touchdowns in ten games. He has also been incredibly accurate, completing 76.9 percent of his passes. He has certainly had a ton of help from the depth of the receiving corps, as Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith have both enjoyed huge games over the last several weeks. The same can be said for the backfield, as the duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are also performing at an extremely high-level right now. Overall, New Orleans is currently averaging an impressive 37.8 points per game (1st overall) on 427.1 total yards.
The Saints haven’t looked quite as solid on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of 23.9 points per game (16th overall). Their biggest weakness seems to be inconsistent play in the secondary, as they are currently giving up 280.3 passing yards per game (27th overall). However, they did look much better against Philadelphia in Week 11, holding them to just 156 yards through the air.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: New Orleans -13.5
I’m done picking against the Saints when they are playing at home against pretty much any team that isn’t the Rams or Chiefs. Atlanta also made me look pretty foolish in Week 11, as I felt they were a lock to beat the Cowboys at home after winning three straight games. In any event, there is no way this horrible Falcons defense has any shot at slowing down the number one scoring offense in the entire NFL. Brees and Co. are putting up 40+ points per game for fun right now – they have also scored 136 combined points in their last three games at the Superdome.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
New Orleans is a perfect 8-0 ATS in their last eight games overall. They are also a very solid 14-6 ATS over their last 20 games against an NFC South. Atlanta is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games playing the Saints on the road. They are also only 1-4 ATS over their last five road games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall.
It is also worth noting that New Orleans has won each of their last four games by at least ten points. Atlanta simply doesn’t have the play-making capabilities on defense to slow down Brees, Thomas, Kamara, Smith, Ingram, etc. I’m fully expecting the Saints to put on a second consecutive offensive show for the home fans to cap off Thanksgiving Day action in the NFL – I’ll lay the almost two touchdowns and take the home favorite to cover.