Saints vs Falcons: NFL Week 1 Odds, Picks, Prediction

Saints vs Falcons: NFL Week 1 Odds, Picks, Prediction article feature image

Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Jameis Winston.

  • The Saints are favored in Week 1 on the road against the Falcons.
  • With Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas healthy, there's plenty of optimism around New Orleans this season.
  • Landon Silinsky breaks down the matchup and lays out how he's betting the game below.

Saints vs. Falcons Odds

Sunday, Sept. 11
1 p.m. ET
Saints Odds
-118o / -104u
Falcons Odds
-118o / -104u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

After tearing his ACL in Week 8 last season, Jameis Winston is set to return under center for the Saints. He will not be alone, however, as star wideout Michael Thomas will also be making his triumphant return after missing all of last season due to ankle problems. The Saints bolstered their wide receiver corps in a big way over the offseason, signing veteran slot-man Jarvis Landry and drafting Ohio State's Chris Olave 11th overall.

On the Atlanta side, this is a clear rebuilding year. However, they do have some exciting pieces on offense in athletic freak tight end Kyle Pitts and rookie receiver Drake London. Marcus Mariota is the new signal caller in Atlanta after Matt Ryan was dealt to the Colts, though he is likely just a placeholder until rookie Desmond Ridder is ready to take over.

This will be an extremely tough test for the Falcons, even at home.

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Saints vs. Falcons Matchup Analysis

Saints vs. Falcons DVOA Breakdown (Stats from 2021)
Overall DVOA2330
Pass DVOA1829
Rush DVOA2829
Overall DVOA283
Pass DVOA254
Rush DVOA311

The Saints had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season, ranking fourth in pass DVOA and No. 1 in rush DVOA. It starts up front with Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport, who are two of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. The secondary, led by All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu and lockdown cornerback Marshon Lattimore, is equally daunting.

New Orleans should be able to get significant pressure on Mariota and it's very likely Atlanta is held under its implied team total of 18.75.

Betting Picks

The Falcons allowed the fourth-highest catch rate to opposing wide receivers in the league last season and also gave up the seventh most touchdowns to the position. That is bad news for Atlanta since New Orleans will likely lean pass-heavy on offense with Winston back healthy.

Not only does Atlanta have to deal with the trio of Saints receivers, but we haven't even discussed pro-bowl running back Alvin Kamara, who is one of the best pass-catching RBs in the NFL.

In addition to being woeful against receivers last year, Atlanta also gave up the ninth most rushing touchdowns, ninth most running back receptions and 12th most running back receiving yards.

The Falcons are at a severe disadvantage at every level and should get dominated in this game. I will lay the points on the road here.

Pick: Saints -5.5 | Bet to -6

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