LIVE: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

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Thu, Nov 28, 2019
8:20 PM
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Thanksgiving day features three NFL contests, including this one between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. Games between these two teams are historically good battles, as they have split their previous ten meetings. The Saints lead the NFC South Division and would be the second seed in the NFC if the season were to end today. The Falcons have had a rough season, as they are currently ranked fourteenth in the NFC.

New Orleans opened as five and a half point favorites, and have already been bet up to six and a half point favorites as of Monday morning. The total opened at 49 and has already been moved to 49 and a half. This will be an exciting showdown between two teams that love to air the ball out. This game will be broadcast nationally on NBC.

Saints Survive A Scare

New Orleans comes into this game off of a thriller against Carolina 34-31 Sunday. Kicker Wil Lutz knocked the game-winning field goal through the uprights with three seconds remaining to seal the deal. Quarterback Drew Brees was electric, completing 30 of his 39 pass attempts for 311 yards with three touchdowns. The Saints may be short-handed on the offensive line as starters Terron Armstead and Andrus Peat did not practice Monday as well asfullback Zach Line. Corner Marshon Lattimore,return-man Deonte Harris and back-up offensive lineman Will Clapp were all on limited practice as well.

Brees has been outstanding in his six games played this year, completing 75.7% of his passes with 1,607 yards and 11 touchdowns to four interceptions. Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray are a two-headed rushing attack for the Saints. Kamara has 114 rushing attempts for 526 yards but only one touchdown and Murray has 102 attempts for 462 yards with five touchdowns. Drew Brees0 is the go-to guy in the receiving corp with 104 receptions for 1,242 yards and six touchdowns. The defense is led by linebacker Drew Brees1 and safety Drew Brees2. They combine for 151 tackles and two and a half sacks with an interception apiece as well. Lutz has hit 23 of his 27 field goal attempts this year and has not missed a kick under 40 yards so far.

Falcons Fall Short

Atlanta lost to the Buccaneers 35-22 on Sunday afternoon after they had won their previous two contests. Tampa Bay had six sacks in the game, which is the most the Falcons offensive line has given up all season. They couldn’t stop the Bucs pass rush all game and Atlanta only had one quarterback hit and didn’t sack Jameis Winston once. They beat the Saints on the road in New Orleans earlier in the season in week ten 26-9. The Falcons receiver corp may be short-handed with Julio Jones as well as tight ends Luke Stocker and Austin Hooper not participating in practice Tuesday.

Matt Ryan hasn’t had a bad campaign this year, completing 67% of his passes with 2,934 yards with 18 touchdowns to ten interceptions. Devonta Freeman, who returned to full practice Tuesday, leads the Atlanta rushing attack, although they haven’t run the ball a ton. He has 107 carries for 371 yards and has yet to score a rushing touchdown. Jones, Calvin Ridley and Hooper have been Ryan’s favorite targets this year. Jones has 64 catches for 950 yards and four touchdowns, Ridley has 50 receptions for 699 yards with six touchdowns and Hooper has 56 catches for 608 yards and six touchdowns as well. The defense is led by linebackers De’vondre Campbell and Deion Jones. They have combined for 178 tackles. Campbell has two picks and a sack as well. Younghoe Koo has taken over kicking duties since the release of Matt Bryant. He has hit ten of his 11 attempts and his only miss came from 38 yards against Carolina.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

This Thanksgiving night game ought to be a fun one. Atlanta won the previous meeting between these two teams back in week 10, and they have the perfect things appearing to line up to pull off another upset. The Falcons had six sacks in their last meeting against New Orleans with 11 quarterback hits total and the Saints’ offensive line will be banged up for this game. Brees completes 75.7% of his passes, but the key to beating him is to constantly bring pressure all game. New Orleans’s defense has been known to struggle stopping the pass and Atlanta loves to air the ball out, as they average 298.6 passing yards per game. I expect the Falcons’ defense to be in the backfield all game and repeat their effort from a few weeks ago as the team tries to get back into the win column. I like Atlanta to cover in this game and possibly win as well.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons

Full-Game Total Pick

This game has all of the makings to be an exciting defensive battle Thanksgiving night. There were only 35 points scored in the game when these two teams met back in week 10. Seven of the last ten times these two teams have met in Atlanta, those games have played to the under. Seven of the Falcons’ 11 games this season have played to the under as well. New Orleans will more than likely be without at least one starting offensive linemen if not two of them, which will aid the Falcons in slowing down the Saints’ potent offense. Atlanta may be banged up in their receiving corp as well, with Julio Jones and Austin Hooper both not practicing Tuesday. These defenses already only allow a combined 47.9 points per game and I expect them to prevail Thursday night in a game where both offenses appear as though they will be short-handed. I am playing the under in this prime-time NFL match.

Prediction: Under 49.5

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