New Orleans Saints (7-8) at Atlanta Falcons (10-5)
|Date & Time||Sunday January 1, 2017, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -6.5 -- Over/Under: 56
The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons end the NFL regular season Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Dome.
The New Orleans Saints look for their third straight victory to end the season with a .500 record. The New Orleans Saints have not won at least eight games since the 2011 NFL season. Drew Brees is completing 70.9 percent of his passes for 4,858 yards, 35 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Brees has two or more touchdown passes in five of his last eight games. Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas have combined for 2,135 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while Willie Snead has 69 receptions. The New Orleans Saints ground game is averaging 107.3 yards per contest, and Mark Ingram leads the way with 940 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, New Orleans is allowing 27.7 points and 369.4 yards per game. Craig Robertson leads the New Orleans Saints with 108 tackles, Cameron Jordan has 7.5 sacks and Jairus Byrd has two interceptions.
The Atlanta Falcons look for a big home victory to lock up the second seed in the NFC. The Atlanta Falcons have split their last eight home games. Matt Ryan is completing 69.5 percent of his passes for 4,613 yards, 34 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Ryan has two or more touchdown passes in six of his last eight games. Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu have combined for 1,934 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Taylor Gabriel has 35 receptions. The Atlanta Falcons ground game is averaging 119.1 yards per contest, and Devonta Freeman leads the way with 983 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, Atlanta is allowing 24.9 points and 364.4 yards per game. Deion Jones leads the Atlanta Falcons with 102 tackles, Vic Beasley Jr. has 14.5 sacks and Ricardo Allen has two interceptions.
The Saints are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The Falcons are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The home team is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings and the under is 5-2-1 in the last 8 meetings.
In the Falcons last three wins over the Saints, they scored no less than 30 points. That's likely going to be the case here given that the Saints defense has struggled all year and has given up a combined 65 points in their last two games. The Falcons torched the Saints for 45 points on the road earlier this season and is still playing for the second seed in the NFC which would of course include a first round bye. Both the Saints and Falcons have offenses that can light it up, but it's Atlanta's defense that I trust more to get a few stops once in a while. I'll take the home team in the Falcons by a touchdown.