Saints Visit the Falcons as NFL Lines Favorites in Week 14

Saints Visit the Falcons as NFL Lines Favorites in Week 14

Written by Michael Hunt on Monday,December 4, 2017 6:36, EDT

Dear football fans: Enjoy the Thursday night game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons this week because there’s only one Thursday night game left in the season and it’s an ugly one between the Broncos and Colts next week. This one is very important in the NFC playoff race. So be sure to check out the NFL lines before placing your bets!

New Orleans at Atlanta NFL Lines, Game Info & Prediction

When: Thursday, 8:25 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
TV: NBC
RadioWWL 870 AM (New Orleans) / 92.9 FM (Atlanta)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: pick’em (53.5)

Weather Forecast

  • Overcast: 6°C/43°F
  • Humidity: 55%
  • Precipitation: 4%
  • Wind: 4 mph WNW
  • Cloud Cover: 98%
  • Type of Stadium: Retractable

Last Season

The Falcons were the best team in the NFC last year – and should have won the first Super Bowl in franchise history — while the Saints were 7-9. So no surprise that the Falcons swept their NFC South rivals. They met Week 3 in 2016 in New Orleans on a Monday and the Falcons won 45-32. Tevin Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs, and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score. Devonta Freeman rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards.

In Week 17 in Atlanta, the final regular season game at the old Georgia Dome, the Falcons won 38-32. Ryan finished 27 of 36 for 331 yards and four scores, leaving him with a franchise-record 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions on the season. He won NFL MVP.

Drew Brees is 15-8 in his career vs. Atlanta with 7,147 yards, 43 touchdowns and a rating of 95.4. Ryan is 7-10 all-time against the Saints with 5,094 yards and 30 touchdowns for a rating of 99.2.

Series History

  • Total Meetings: 96
  • First Meeting: November 26th, 1967. Tulane Stadium. New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Last Meeting: January 1st, 2017. Georgia Dome. Atlanta, Georgia
  • All-Time Series: Atlanta Falcons 51-45-0
  • Largest Margin of Victory: Atlanta 62-7 (1973)
  • Longest Win Streak: Atlanta 10 (1995-1999)
  • Current Win Streak: Atlanta 2 (2016-2017)

Why Bet on New Orleans?

The Saints (9-3) have a one-game lead over the Panthers for the NFC South lead but it’s really two games because the Saints swept the season series with a 31-21 win Sunday. Rookie running back Alvin Kamara finished with 60 rushing yards, 66 receiving yards and two touchdown runs. Mark Ingram finished with 85 rushing yards, 37 receiving yards and a TD.

It was the fourth time this season they have both finished with more than 100 yards from scrimmage. They’re the first RB duo to do that since the San Francisco 49ers’ Roger Craig and Wendell Tyler in 1985. Kamara and Ingram have combined for 200-plus yards from scrimmage in five straight games. They have combined for a total of 1,872 scrimmage yards since Week 6 (234 per game). They have combined for 20 touchdowns scored since Week 3.

This season, Kamara has 614 receiving yards and 606 rushing yards and joins Charley Taylor (1964) and Billy Sims (1980) as the only rookies in NFL history to have at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards. Brees completed 25 of 34 passes (73.5 percent) for 269 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 106.1 passer rating. Brees now has 6,127 career completions and surpassed Peyton Manning (6,125) for the second-most completions in NFL history. Only Brett Favre (6,300) has more career completions.

The Saints have lost Coby Fleener for the season, though, due to a concussion. Fleener had 22 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns. He has been the Saints’ top pass-catching tight end since he signed a five-year, $36 million contract in free agency last year, but he hasn’t had nearly the level of production that he and the Saints were hoping for.

Team Statistics

Offense:

  • Average Score For: 29.42
  • Total Yards: 408.58
  • Pass Yards: 266
  • Rush Yards: 142.58

Defense:

  • Average Score Against: 20.25
  • Total Yards: 330.08
  • Pass Yards: 217.25
  • Rush Yards: 112.83

Why Bet on Atlanta?

The Atlanta Falcons (7-5) are a game out of the final wild-card spot in the NFC. The Falcons hold tiebreakers over wild-card contenders such as current No. 5 seed Seattle (8-4), Detroit (6-6), Green Bay (6-6) and Dallas (6-6).

They had a three-game winning streak end Sunday in a 14-9 loss to Minnesota in Week 13.  Ryan completed 16-of-29 passes for 173 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Falcons, who entered the game leading the league in third-down conversions (48.1 percent), went just 1-for-10 on third down against the league’s top third-down defense (28.5 percent). Julio Jones hauled in 2-of-6 targets for 24 yards. Coming off a monster game the week before, Jones was shut down by Xavier Rhodes in this one.

Are the Falcons a safe bet in Week 14?

Jones ranks third in the NFL with 1,063 receiving yards and is averaging 104.6 yards per game over his past five games. Ryan reached 3,000 passing yards (3,057) for the eighth consecutive season. In his past six games against New Orleans, Ryan has 1,970 passing yards (328.3 per game) with 14 touchdowns and one interception for a 115.4 passer rating.

Top Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant missed the loss following a collision with teammate Keanu Neal in a Week 12 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Trufant is out of the concussion protocol and will play Thursday. Trufant leads the Falcons with two interceptions and also has two fumble recoveries, one returned for a touchdown.

Team Statistics

Offense:

  • Average Score For: 22.83
  • Total Yards: 365.33
  • Pass Yards: 249.58
  • Rush Yards: 115.75

Defense:

  • Average Score Against: 20.33
  • Total Yards: 321
  • Pass Yards: 207.83
  • Rush Yards: 113.17

Latest NFL Lines Trends

  • New Orleans is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games
  • New Orleans is 9-1 SU in the last 10 games
  • The total went OVER in 10 of New Orleans’s last 15 games
  • Atlanta is 3-6 ATS in the last 9 games
  • Atlanta is 13-6 SU in the last 19 games
  • The total went OVER in 17 of Atlanta’s last 25 games

Expert Prediction & NFL Betting Pick for Week 14

Falcons must have this, while the Saints almost can afford to lose. Take Atlanta in the NFL lines.