New Orleans Saints
Free NFL Pick
By Jason Green
The Saints are out of the playoffs and while they can’t keep the Falcons out they can keep them from getting a first round bye. New Orleans can also get to .500 for the season, which has been a disappointment for them. Drew Brees has the most passing yards in the NFL and the Saints’ offense is the 2nd highest scoring one in the league. Brees and the offense has to get it done since their D only ranks 30th in the league in terms of opponents’ ppg.
The Falcons beat the Saints in the Big Easy earlier this season and if they can beat them again in this home finale they will get the 2nd seed in the NFC and get a first round bye. They can also do the same if a few other things happen, but would like to make it easy with a win over the rival Saints. Atlanta has won 3 in a row and while their D has been their weakness this season that unit has stepped up in their streak giving up an average of just over 14 ppg. QB Matt Ryan is in the MVP race and with good reason leading an offense that ranks 1st in the league putting up an average of 33.5 ppg.
In the last 6 Games between these 2 NFC South teams the underdog has covered the spread every time.
In their last Games the Saints beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24 where they covered the spread as a 3-point home favorite.
The Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers 33-16 in their last Game covering as a 3-point road favorite.
Brees passed for 299 yards with 1 TD and no INT in the win over the Buccaneers and he got help from RB Mark Ingram, who rushed for 90 of the 123 yards the Saints had on the ground in the Game. They will be up against an Atlanta defense that ranks 26th against the pass and 16th against the run. Their D has been playing well lately and they forced 2 turnovers in their last win over Carolina.
Ryan was solid in the Carolina Game with 277 passing yards with 2 TD and no INT and he has a solid WR corps led by Julio Jones, who has the 3nrd most receiving yards in the NFL. RB’s Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman combined for 143 yards in the win over Carolina and with them running the ball well it makes things a whole lot easier for Ryan under center. The Saints’ D ranks 30th against the pass and 12th against the run.
New Orleans is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road Games, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Games overall, and in their last 8 Games facing a team that has a winning record the posted total has gone Under 7 times.
Atlanta is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Games overall, 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home Games, and in their last 7 Games at home the posted total has gone Over every time.
Bettorsworld Pick – Dangerous spot for the Falcons for sure, going up against a rival with nothing to lose. But the first round bye is huge so we’d expect a 100% effort from the Falcons. That being said, we’ll lay the TD with the most potent offense in the NFL. Falcons -7