Falcons vs. Saints Odds & Picks: Can New Orleans Cover Massive Spread?
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees
- The New Orleans Saints host the Atlanta Falcons as massive favorites on Sunday.
- Our experts analyze the betting odds and make their picks for this NFC South showdown.
Falcons at Saints Odds & Picks
- Odds: Saints -13.5
- Over/Under: 51
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
With the Falcons off to a 1-7 start and the Saints looking like a Super Bowl contender, the NFC South’s biggest rivalry lacks its usual glitz heading into Week 10. The Saints are 13.5-point home favorites, but is that spread too big even with Drew Brees facing a decimated Atlanta secondary?
Our experts evaluate whether Matt Ryan’s potential return from injury will help the Falcons keep the game close or if Brees and a staunch Saints defense will blow out Dan Quinn’s disappointing Atlanta side.
Falcons-Saints Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Saints
There still isn’t an official word on Ryan (ankle), but he’s been able to get in limited practices, suggesting he could be trending toward playing. We’ll have a better idea on Friday.
Running back Ito Smith (neck) has remained out of practice, which will put a heavier workload on Devonta Freeman against a tough Saints run defense.
The Saints received some excellent news as Alvin Kamara (knee/ankle), Jared Cook (ankle) and Tre’Quan Smith (ankle) have all returned to full practice. The Saints’ 32 implied team total leads all teams by nearly four points.— Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Saints Pass Offense vs. Falcons Pass Defense
In Week 8, Brees returned from his hand injury with a 373-yard, three-touchdown passing performance, and he should be ready and rested for the reeling 1-7 divisional rival Falcons off the Week 9 bye.
Since 2015, Brees has averaged 304.8 yards and 2.12 touchdowns passing in his eight games against head coach Dan Quinn’s Falcons. In that same time, he’s also averaged 330.4 yards and 2.45 touchdowns at home.
Whenever Brees is at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, he’s usually unstoppable. And this year the Falcons look especially exploitable: They’re dead last in the league with a 36.4 Pro Football Focus coverage grade.
On top of that, the Falcons secondary is all jumbled. Pro-Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal (Achilles, IR) is out. No. 1 corner Desmond Trufant (toe) has missed three straight games and hasn’t returned to practice.
The Falcons radically reorganized their secondary in Week 8 to try and stabilize it: Ricardo Allen moved from free safety to strong safety; slot corner Damontae Kazee shifted to free safety; fourth-round backup corner Kendall Sheffield slid from the perimeter into the slot and special-teams veteran Blidi Wreh-Wilson started at left corner.
With two backup corners in the game and multiple defensive backs positioned at new spots, the Falcons secondary could struggle a lot as a coordinated unit of individual players who need to be on the same page.
Given his ability in general and his experience against this defense, Brees should be able to find open receivers with ease. — Matthew Freedman
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Saints -11.5
- Projected Total: 51.5
Before the season started, we would’ve pegged this matchup as a battle for first place in the NFC South. But that’s not the case as the Falcons are 1-7 while the Saints are 7-1.
Teddy Bridgewater did a fantastic job filling in for Brees, going 5-0 in his starts. Still, we have to be cautious with the Saints, who are now 5-0 in one-score games while the Falcons are 1-3. As a result, the Falcons have a ridiculous +3.1 edge in expected wins vs. actual — a sign that this will be much closer than their two records indicate and the market is likely to offer value as a result.
Falcons +13.5 is the play here. — Sean Koerner
PRO System Match
The Saints have been the most profitable teams this season, covering the spread in six of their eight games and returning a profit of $395 for a $100 bettor. The Falcons have been the least profitable team going 2-6 against the spread, costing a $100 bettor $425.
A majority of spread tickets are on the Saints as double-digit favorites (see live public betting data here). This is not a surprise as gamblers love a team that has shown an ability to cash for bettors.
But history suggests gamblers shouldn’t expect each team to continue their usual ways. ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet teams with bad ATS records against opponents with winning ATS records.
Following this simple Pro System, bettors have gone 171-104-9 (62.2%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,759 following this strategy.
Bettors are counting the Falcons out against the Saints, but history suggests Matty Ice can cover. — John Ewing
PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.
Mike Randle: Falcons +13.5
If Ryan returns, he should help the Atlanta offense back toward its usual production level even if he’s facing a stiff Saints defense. Plus, the Falcons-Saints game always provides an intense battle between two bitter rivals.
Their meetings have been decided by more than 14 points just twice over the past 18 matchups. In fact, over the last eight game the average margin of victory has only been 8.1 points.
With the Falcons pass defense injured and struggling, look for Atlanta to rely on their offense to keep pace with New Orleans. Before his injury in Week 7, Ryan eclipsed 300 passing yards in every game this season. With three games of three or more passing touchdowns, Ryan and the Falcons offense have enough firepower to keep this game under two touchdowns.
The Saints are receiving 60% of the bets but only 36% of the money, representing a clear sharp vs. square dichotomy. I’ll side with the money and grab Atlanta. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]