The Atlanta Falcons (9-5) and New Orleans Saints (11-3) are set to face off in an NFC South divisional showdown on Monday Night Football inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Atlanta needs to win out and hope that New Orleans drops its final two games in hopes of winning the NFC South division title, but the squad is certainly focused in gaining revenge from a 26-23 overtime loss in the first meeting this season as one-point home favorites on Nov. 13. The Falcons have captured victories in four of their last five games and gone ‘over’ the total in their last two. “We control what we can control,” commented Falcons head coach Mike Smith. “It’s obvious our guys are familiar with the scenarios we are in.” It’s important to note that the squad has at least clinched an NFC wild card spot. Atlanta is 28-17 ATS over the last two-plus seasons.
The Falcons will likely try to throw the ball tonight, as quarterback Matt Ryan needs just 302 passing yards to become the second player in franchise history to reach 4,000 yards in a season. His main target is wide receiver Roddy White, who has connected with Ryan for 34 touchdowns through the air in their careers. On the other side of the ball, Atlanta brings in the No. 4 rushing defense in the league, which will be tested against the Saints’ eighth-ranked rushing unit.
New Orleans has won six consecutive games and out-gained the Minnesota Vikings by 366 yards in last week’s 42-20 win as seven-point road favorites. The Saints are led by quarterback Drew Brees, who connected on 32-of-40 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns last week. He leads the NFL in passing yards and sits just 305 away from breaking Dan Marino’s single-season record. “I’m as comfortable now in this offense as I’ve ever been,” stated Brees this week in practice. The former Purdue Boilermakers star is 9-3 in his career against tonight’s opponent. New Orleans is 16-12 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points the last two-plus years.
The Saints have the league’s top offense in terms of total yards, while bringing in a defensive unit that’s tied for 24th in the league. New Orleans has plenty of weapons on the offensive end, including running back Darren Sproles, who is the only player in the league with two-plus rushing touchdowns, two-plus receiving touchdowns and a return touchdown. The offensive line is really the key to the entire operation, giving up the fourth-fewest sacks, but the unit will be going against a Falcons defense that has tallied 14 sacks in the past four games.
Bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 5-2 ATS mark as a road underdog of 3.5 to 10 points, while the favorite is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.
Recommendation: Atlanta Falcons (+7)
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