Atlanta Falcons (5-9 SU, 6-8 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-8 SU, 6-8 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date and Time: Sunday, December 21, 1:00pm EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL +6.5/NOR -6.5
Over/Under Total: 56
Bet your Falcons/Saints pick at an online sportsbook where your credit card WILL work for deposits and where you'll receive a generous 50% bonus up to $250 FREE: Bovada Sportsbook. Great live in-game betting too!
So we are in week 16 of the NFL season. What if I told you that one of the most important games of the week was a contest between a team that was 6-8, and the other team was 5-9. Crazy right? Well, let me break this down for you. If the New Orleans Saints beat the Falcons, then they clinch the NFC South, however, if they Atlanta Falcons take down the Saints and then the Panthers in week 17, then the Dirty Birds get the NFX South title. These two teams met in week one and the Falcons came away with a 37-34 overtime win. At that time, we thought that game waas big because both teams would come into this week with 9-10 wins each...well, nope. But, this game still matters. In a big way.
The New Orleans Saints come into this game as 6.5 point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons while the total points are set at 56 combined. In 2014, both of these teams are well below expectations as far as their win and loss record, but like we said, they both still somehow have a shot to make the playoffs, and not only make the playoffs, but host a home game. Against the spread this season, both teams are under .500 at 6-8. As of Tuesday evening, 71% of the bettors were taking the Saints to cover the nearly touchdown spread.
The Atlanta Falcons are in a must win situation. If they beat the Saints in New Orleans then head back to the Georgia Dome and take down the Panthers, they are the NFC South champions at 7-9...thats right. People make fun of this, but remember, a few years back when the Saints were defending Super Bowl champs and they traveled to take on a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks team? Well, if you do not remember, let me just say that the Seahawks moved on to play another game while the Saints went home losers. As for the Falcons, they are so inconsistent. The defense is consistently bad, but the offense is hit or miss. Led by Matt Ryan, the Falcons are ranked 5th in the NFL in passing...the only problem is, they cannot run the ball at all. Averaging just 96 yards a game, the Birds rank near the bottom of the NFL in rushing. Not only are the Falcons one dimensional on offense due to a bad offensive line, but their defense sucks too. I hate to use the word sucks, but its true. Atlanta ranks dead last in the NFL in passing yards allowed, and just 20th in the league against the run. If the Falcons want to win this game, or at least cover the spread, they need to score and also slow down the Saints attack. If they allow Drew Brees to get going, it could be a long day for the Birds.
The Saints are just one win away from taking the NFC South title. With that said, they do not have any room for error. This team is just as bad as the Falcons. Statistically, the Saints are a better team on offense ranking 3rd in the league in passing, and 9th in rushing. However, the New Orleans defense is bad...almost as bad as the Falcons. The Saints are allowing over 255 yards a game passing, and 132 yards a game on the ground. The Saints may be the sexy pick here, but do not be so quick to call it a lock. If this game becomes a shootout like it did in week one, Atlanta could win this thing. New Orleans needs to not only hope that Drew Brees and the offense gets going, but the defense will need to make plays too.
The Falcons and Saints rivalry has become one of the best in the NFC over the last decade or so. With that said, yeah, the Saints may seem to be the better team as we speak, but if you look at the history of this rivalry, you will realize that no one gets blown out. Four of the last six games between these two teams have been decided by less than a touchdown. Not only that, but I do not trust either team this season to cover a spread like 6.5. Will the Saints win? More than likely yes, but do not be stunned if Atlanta comes in and wins a crazy shootout. I predict the Saints win 31-28, but you never know.
Bob's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE ATLANTA FALCONS +6.5 POINTS>
Editor's Picks - Each week our in house pro's tackle the week's card and make predictions on the week's games ATS! Best bets, top plays, premium selections, etc. FREE!
Expert NFL Picks - Free premium plays from the "real" expert football handicappers from around the web. Don't fall for second rate picks from ESPN, the NFL Network, Hank Goldberg or the screaming touts on TV.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We forecast the loudest barking dog of the week. Expect a 60% winning percentage with these plays.
Favorite of the Week Play - We examine "the chalk" and determine the safest bet in which who you should lay the points with. Forecasting winning favorites long term isn't easy, but we've had some pretty good luck with it over the years.
Line Movement Plays - We report all the major line moves from the gridiron and forecast whether it's public money or sharp action causing the move. Who will cover the spread this week? Our line move plays!
NFL Consensus Picks - See what the general public is betting on. We use this info to fade the public to the tune of big profits over the course of the season.
Bookies Picks - Each week, we'll post which side the bookies are on. Please note: These are not OUR picks. We're simply reporting the teams the bookies need to cover the spread in order for them to win. Games receiving equal action on both sides will not be factored into these records.
Office Pool Picks - (Coming in 2015!) You asked for it and you got it! Each week, we'll post our predictions to win each game straight up so that you can RULE your office pool!
NFL Trends - Don't ever let anybody tell you that the trend is your friend. These picks make great fades which is exactly what we do with them.
NFL Computer Picks - We enter the statistics into the database and the computer crunches the numbers and gives final score predictions. These should be used for entertainment only!
Monday Night Football Picks - The ultimate bailout play. Our MNF picks are golden and have hit 62% or better 3 out of the past 4 years. (Last season was a disaster!) Did we mention that their FREE?
2014 NFL Predictions - Badger makes projections on each team's record and whether or not they'll go over or under their posted season win totals at the sportsbooks.
Super Bowl Picks - Everybody here in the Predictem office takes their best preseason shot at predicting the winner Superbowl 49. Pride is on the line here! Oh, and LOOT too!
5Dimes - Bet your NFL football picks at -105 odds every day of the week! 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Pleasers and huge point buying opportunities as well!
Bovada - Tired of deposit hassles? Bet on football using your credit card at a sportsbook where your Visa CAN and WILL work for deposits! Offers a 50% sign-up bonus up to $250 FREE!
MyBookie - Credit cards work GREAT here! Get a massive 50% bonus up to $2000 in free cash!
GTBets - You get to select 2 NFL teams and get a FREE half point every time you bet them! Offers a generous 100% bonus on deposits of $100 to $500! One of the best at accepting credit cards for deposits!
Super Bowl Betting - We explain all the different types of wagers you can making including point spread bets, totals, moneylines and prop bets. No need to go to Vegas! You can bet the big game online!
Weekly Fantasy Football - If you drafted a crappy team or the injury bug has bit you and wrecked your season, we've got something really cool to turn you on to that will change the way you play fantasy sports forever!
Famous Football Quotes - From the inspirational to the greatest touchdown calls of all time. We've got them!
Pro Football Hall of Fame - A full list of NFL players who have been inducted into the NFL HOF.
The Spread - Offers free NFL football predictions, matchups, stats including both offensive and defensive and more!
Fantasy Football Sites - Get recommendations on where to find weekly updated player news, depth charts and legit websites that offer the best stat and record tracking for your fantasy football league.