New Orleans Saints (9-3) at Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 7, 2017, 8:25 PM (EST)|
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -1 -- Over/Under: 53.5
The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons meet Thursday in NFL action at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The New Orleans Saints look for their 10th win in 11 tries to really start running away with the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints have won four of their last five road games. Drew Brees is completing 71.5 percent of his passes for 3,298 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. Brees has one or less touchdown passes in five of his last seven games. Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. have combined for 1,543 receiving yards and six touchdowns while Alvin Kamara has 59 receptions. The New Orleans Saints ground game is averaging 142.6 yards per contest, and Mark Ingram leads the way with 922 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, New Orleans is allowing 20.3 points and 330.1 yards per game. Vonn Bell leads the New Orleans Saints with 65 tackles, Cameron Jordan has 10 sacks and Kenny Vaccaro has three interceptions.
The Atlanta Falcons need a victory here to remain in the thick of the NFC playoff race. The Atlanta Falcons have lost three of their last five home games. Matt Ryan is completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 3,057 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Ryan has one or less touchdown passes in four of his last eight games. Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu have combined for 1,558 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while Austin Hooper has 39 receptions. The Atlanta Falcons ground game is averaging 115.6 yards per contest, and Devonta Freeman leads the way with 589 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, Atlanta is allowing 20.3 points and 321 yards per game. Deion Jones leads the Atlanta Falcons with 96 tackles, Adrian Clayborn has eight sacks and Robert Alford has 15 pass deflections.
The Saints are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 vs. NFC South, 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC South, 11-4 ATS in their last 15 vs. NFC and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games. The road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings, the underdog is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings and the under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Atlanta.
I said last week that I'm not on the Falcons bandwagon like a lot of other people are, as wins over teams riddled with injuries don't move the needle for me. The Falcons struggled against the Vikings last week and have actually now lost three of their last five games in their new stadium. The Saints won't be able to bring that same defensive effort to slow down Atlanta, but there's plenty of offensive firepower to run the Falcons out of the building. The Saints have scored 30 or more points in four of their last five games and that's without Brees putting up eye-popping numbers. If the Saints get comfortable offensively like they have been, it's going to be tough for the Falcons to keep up, as this isn't the same squad from last year. I'll gladly take the better team in pretty much a pick em game, even if its on the road with short rest.