Saints Visit Falcons in Critical NFC South ShowdownBy David A.
Thursday Night Football kicks off Week 14 of the NFL regular season with an NFC South showdown when the New Orleans Saints visit the Atlanta Falcons. The current line has Atlanta favored by 1 point with the over/under point total on 51.5.
Entering this game, New Orleans on the season is 9-3 straight up and 8-4 against the spread. On the road, the Saints are 3-2 SU and ATS. Atlanta on the season is 7-5 SU and 5-7 ATS. At home, the Falcons are 3-3 SU and ATS.
The Saints and Falcons will play the first of two head to head games Thursday followed by another meeting in 2 ½ weeks. New Orleans is in first place in the NFC South. It won for the ninth time in its last 10 games last week by beating Carolina 31-21.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has 3,298 yards passing, which is third in the NFL. Running back Mark Ingram leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with nine. Rookie running back Alvin Kamara has given the Saints the one of the best running back tandems in football. It has 1,242 yards from scrimmage with 13 touchdowns over the past five games.
While the offense for New Orleans gets all the headlines, it defense has vastly improved allowing just 17.9 points per game over the past 10 games played. Cam Jordan has 10.5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss through 12 games for the Saints.
Falcons quarterback and the reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan threw for a combined 571 yards, six touchdowns with no interceptions in the two meetings last season with the Saints each of which was one by the Atlanta.
Atlanta has two strong running backs as well in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman rushed for 74 yards last week in his first game back from a concussion that kept him out two games, but the Falcons still lost 14-9 to the Minnesota Vikings.
Against The Spread
Julio Jones leads the NFC in receiving yards with 1,063 but caught just two passes in the loss to the Vikings. However, the Falcons wide receiver has 361 yards receiving in his last three games at home against New Orleans.
New Orleans is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games versus opponents from the NFC.
Atlanta is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 games versus opponents from the NFC.
Prediction: This game will be close but the Saints will pull it out late to win outright.