By: Jason Green
New Orleans Saints (9-3 SU 8-4 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (7-5 SU 5-7 ATS)
The Saints came up with a HUGE win last week beating the Carolina Panthers and with the Falcons loss New Orleans is all-alone atop the NFC South with a one Game lead over Carolina and two Games up on Atlanta. They face the Falcons twice, so if they win both Games they should win the division. Drew Brees was great in the last Game and leads an offense that has balaNCe, ranking 3rd in both passing and rushing yards per Game, and ranks 3rd in the league in ppg. Rookie Alvin Kamara is the front-runner for Rookie of the Year and the Saints can really take control of the division with a win in this big division Game.
At 5 dimes sportsbook this Game is a PICK with the total at 53.
The Falcons are coming off a tough loss to the Minnesota Vikings, but their playoff fate is still in their hands. The loss snapped their three-Game win streak and while they are known for their offense with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and company they only put up nine points in their last Game.
The road team has covered the spread in Four of the last five Games between these teams.
The Saints were in their house in their last Game and they beat the Carolina Panthers 31-21. They racked up 400 yards in the Game and held the Panthers to 279 yards and they had a balanced offensive attack. Brees passed for 269 yards with a TD and no INT Michael Thomas led the way with 70 receiving yards hauling in the TD. Mark Ingram rushed for 85 yards with a 72-yard scamper and Kamara rushed for 60 yards averaging 6.7 yards per carry and also had 60 receiving yards. New Orleans will be facing an Atlanta D that only GAve up 14 points and 312 yards in their last Game.
In their last Game Atlanta was at home and they lost to the Minnesota Vikings 14-9. They were held to three field goals and were totally shut out in the 4th quarter and for the Game only had 275 total yards. Matt Ryan did not put up a Ryan like box Scorewith only 173 yards with no TD and no picks and five players had at least 20 receiving yards, but star WR Julio Jones only had 24 yards on two catches. The line has to give Ryan time in the pocket and Jones has to be more of a focal point in this huge Game. Atlanta did rush for 102 yards and Devonta Freeman rushed for 74 yards averaging a legit 6.2 yards per carry. Obviously, Ryan is key, but so is the run Game since Brees and the New Orleans offense is such a dynamic and balanced one.
If the Saints can keep Ryan from having a big Game in the air and making big plays they should win this Game.
The Saints are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road Games, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Games, and in their last 8 Games facing a team with a winning record they have an Over record of 6-2.
The Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games after a loss, 19-8 ATS in their last 27 Games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous Game, and in their last 5 home Games the Under record is 4-1.
Jason’s PICK: Many are going with the Saints in this one, especially how they looked last week, but I am not one of them. The Falcons are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Thursday night Games and that trend will continue. Ryan will have bouNCe-back Game and lead Atlanta to a much-needed win in what will be a close contest.