Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints : Betting Preview – Thanksgiving 2018 The Atlanta Falcons are in pure desperation mode as they travel to New Orleans to take on the first place and consensus #1 power ranked Saints.
Atlanta has dropped two in a row to the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns, putting them at 4-6 and a longshot for the NFC Playoffs after ten games. The New Orleans Saints are coming off of a historic 48-7 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints are -13 point favorites in this nightcap of the Thanksgiving day triple header.
The Falcons have suffered two bad defeats in a row after they appeared to have things together and making a push for a playoff bid. In the two losses, the Falcons high powered offense could only muster a combined 35 points. It is hard to put a finger on just what is plaguing the Falcons, but it appears to be a combination of things, most importantly their inability to make a big play when it is most needed. Going into New Orleans, there is little doubt that this is a must-win game for the Falcons and their players know it.
Many quotes have come out of the Falcons locker room this weak stressing the importance of this game to their season as a whole. New Orleans will no doubt want to push this game to a shootout and Atlanta has the quarterback and receiving corps to counter that. The biggest question for the Falcons, and really anyone preparing for the Saints, is what can their defense do to slow down the juggernaut. Atlanta sits at 27th in the league in points against and have been unable to pressure opposing quarterbacks. In other words, if the Falcons want to win this game, Matt Ryan better be have a career day throwing the football.
New Orleans is a machine right now. In their past two contests, the Saints have put 99 points against two decent teams in Philadelphia and Cincinnati. If the season ended right now, Drew Brees should be the MVP of the league. He has a ridiculous 126.9 quarterback rating with 26 touchdowns and just 1 interception. The offense has been getting all of the press, rightfully so, but what has separated the Saints has been their defense. Despite a slow start to the season, the Saints defense is playing as good as anyone right now. In the last two victories, they have given up just 21 points against offenses who are throwing the whole play book at them in a desperate attempt to keep pace with the Saints offense.
Ever since the Week 3 battle in Atlanta, the trajectory of the season has taken different paths for each team. The Saints are riding high and the Falcons are stumbling. However, the Falcons are very familiar with the Saints and what they want to do, so they may have an advantage that recent Saints opponents have not. Right now though, I do not think it matters. I am taking the Saints -13 and will take the Saints the rest of the way until someone proves they can compete with them. Saints win 43-24.