Atlanta Falcons (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Thursday, October 15th, 8:25pm
Where: Mercedes Superdome New Orleans, LA
TV: CBS / NFL Network
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ATL -3 / NOR +3
Over/Under Total: 51
Thursday night we have an NFC South showdown between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints. For the better part of a decade, both of these teams or at least one of the two have been in contention for a playoff spot and a division title. This season we have the undefeated, 5-0, Falcons taking on a very disappointing Saints team that enters this game at 1-4. This is one of the NFLs lesser known rivalries, but down here in the southeast, there is no love lost. The Saints hate the Falcons and likewise. Through much of the 70s and 80s these two teams battled not for the division title, but to just not finish last. Both franchises were awful and it wasnt until the late 90s and mid 2000s that they both got on the level of respect. Now things are even more passionate between the fanbases. Atlanta is still wanting their first Super Bowl title while the Saints let them know each and every day that they already have one. Could this be the Falcons year? Will the Saints fans come out in full force and push their team to an upset? We will find out.
I could not tell you the last time the Falcons came into a game in New Orleans as a favorite. I am a Falcons fan myself, and this game scares me. I do not care how good or bad the Saints arethe Superdome is not an easy place to play, especially in national prime time. However, the Falcons enter this game as a three point road favorite while the total points are set at 51. 72% of the early action is on the Falcons and as far as the over under, 63% like this game to be a shootout and go over the 51. So far in 2015, the Falcons are 4-1 against the spread while the Saints are 2-3. The Falcons covered in their first contests of the year, but this past weekend they had to fight to get through the Redskins. Atlanta was able to remain undefeated, but the Saints come in suffering a beatdown handed to them by the Philadelphia Eagles.
One of the biggest surprises of the NFL season so far has been the Atlanta Falcons. Under new head coach, Dan Quinn, these guys are legit. With the exception of first round draft pick, Vic Beasley Jr, and a few other draft picks that really are not doing much, this team is the very same team that has missed the post season the last two years. As always, the offense for Atlanta is clicking, but in a different way. What used to be a one dimensional passing attack has become more balanced and much more dangerous. Second year running back. Devonta Freeman, was considered a bust, or at least just a role player by many Atlanta fans. Well, Freeman has had three starts in his career and is currently leading the NFL in touchdowns and if not for a bad call in the Washington game, he would have another one under his belt. The Falcons are ranked top 10 in the NFL in passing and rushing yards. I seriously do not know if this have ever happened in Atlanta. Oh, and they are third in the entire NFL in scoring. Yes, it Is only week six, but what a start. One key though that could hurt the Falcons is that star wide out, Julio Jones, is nursing a sore hammy. Julio is still playing but he was obviously not the deep threat as he normally is, and now on a short week, it will be a toss up how he feels headed to New Orleans. I like Atlantas chances this week, but I promise you it will not be easy. It will take a good performance on both sides of the ball. This game cannot be one sided.
Who Dat? Who Dat? Who Dat say they gonna beat them Saints?! Well, in 2015, pretty everyone is dat. New Orleans only win of the season came against an injured and down Dallas team, other than that, the Saints are being beat down. Statistically, the Saints are about the same as always with the exception of the scoring. They rank 3rd in the NFL in passing with 302 yards a game. The run game is suffering however, they are gaining just 85 a contest and this is not a formula for long term success in the NFL unless you have a stellar defense. The Saints defense is far from stellar. They rank 29th in points allowed while being ranked 21st in points scored on offensenot good. There are a number of reasons that the Saints are starting their downward spiral as an organization. If you take a deep look into their salaries from 2007 2013, there were moves needing to be made and they have pretty much disbanded what was once a great team. Along with the moves, Drew Brees isnt getting any younger. Brees is an all time great, but his time is coming to an end. At least his time to be able to single handedly carry a team is coming to an end. The key this week to beat Atlanta is to somehow, someway stop Atlanta on offense. I do think the Saints will be able to put up some points, but if they Atlanta get into the 30s, then it wont bode well for the Saints.
Most of you readers know that I am a life long Falcons fan, and I try my hardest to not let my heart and fandom get in the way of a logical pick. I will say this, I have picked AGAINST my Falcons the last two weeks. I am 1-1 against the spread picking them so I can take that. Here is my prediction for Thursday. Coming off a not so stellar game against the Redskins, I believe Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons send a message to the New Orleans Saints as well as the entire NFL that they are for real. Lets be honest, this Saints team is not good, they just arent. The dome crowd will keep them in it for a quarter or two, but I think in the end Atlanta makes a statement and wins this game by two scores. I look for a 31-20 win for the Atlanta Falcons and another cover on their way to a 6-0 start to 2015. DAMN THE SAINTS! GO FALCONS!
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pick the Atlanta Falcons -3 Points.
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