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NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

NEW ORLEANS (5 - 6) at ATLANTA (10 - 1)

Top Trends for this game.
NEW ORLEANS is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 14-4 ATS (+9.6 Units) in dome games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 14-4 ATS (+9.6 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
ATLANTA is 10-22 ATS (-14.2 Units) in home games off a win against a division rival since 1992.
ATLANTA is 9-23 ATS (-16.3 Units) in home games after 2 or more consecutive wins since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ORLEANS is 4-1 against the spread versus ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
NEW ORLEANS is 4-1 straight up against ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Orleans's last 6 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
The total has gone OVER in 12 of New Orleans's last 16 games
Atlanta is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 7 games

New Orleans at Atlanta
New Orleans: 11-1 ATS in the second half of the season
Atlanta: 9-23 ATS at home off BB wins

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NFL: Streaks, Trends, Notes

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons' only loss of the 2012 NFL season came a few weeks ago to the New Orleans Saints. Naturally, the NFC's best team will want revenge while handing Saints a crippling blow to their slim postseason hopes. Plenty of reason to back the Falcons who haven't lost at home this season (5-0, 2-3 ATS) and enter ridding an 11-2 (6-6-1 ATS) mark at the Georgia Dome. However, can't sell Saints short. Brees should be able to pick apart the Falcons' secondary giving up 7.0 yards per pass attempt, 220.2 passing yards/game pushing Falcons into another close game a situation which has not been profitable for backers the past four weeks (1-2-1 ATS). Saints winning the last three trips into Atlanta (2-1 ATS) and five-of-six (4-2 ATS) in Falcons back yard puts Matt Ryan and company in dangerous betting territory. Keep in mind, Falcons are on a 1-3-1 ATS skid vs the division, 1-4-2 ATS slide in November and that Saints are on a profitable 11-2 ATS stretch in November when facing a division foe, road dog are 5-3 in these Thursday night affairs.

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Thursday Night Football: Saints at Falcons

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 56)

The Atlanta Falcons look to avenge their only loss of the season Thursday when they kick off Week 13 with a rematch with the NFC South-rival New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta opened the season with eight straight victories before running into a hot New Orleans team that posted a 31-27 triumph at home on Nov. 11. Tight end Jimmy Graham caught seven passes for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns and Jabari Greer broke up a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter to preserve the Saints' fourth win in five games.

Atlanta has squeaked out a pair of wins since the loss to New Orleans, posting a four-point triumph over Arizona before edging the Buccaneers 24-23 in Tampa Bay on Sunday. Seven of the Falcons' 10 victories have been by seven points or less. After opening the campaign with four consecutive setbacks, the Saints got back in playoff contention by winning five of their next six contests. But their postseason hopes took a hit Sunday as they fell to NFC West-leading San Francisco at home, 31-21.

LINE: The Falcons opened as 3.5-point favorites and have dropped to -3 at some markets. The 56 points total ties the highest total of the season and has dropped to 55.5 at some books.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (5-6, 6-5 ATS): New Orleans would have vaulted into sixth place - and a wild card spot - in the NFC with a win over San Francisco. Instead, it sits in 11th and faces two more division leaders over the next two weeks. Quarterback Drew Brees extended his NFL-record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 54 with three scoring tosses but also had two passes intercepted and returned for TDs. He now has 31 touchdown strikes this year, making him just the third QB in league history to reach the 30-TD plateau in five or more seasons. Brees joins Brett Favre (nine) and Peyton Manning (six) in that category. Brees (2008-12) and Favre (1994-98) are the only two to do it in five consecutive campaigns. Wide receiver Marques Colston notched a franchise-record 56th touchdown of his career Sunday. He had been tied with Deuce McAllister atop the franchise list.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (10-1, 6-4-1 ATS): Sunday's margin of victory could have been larger had Matt Bryant not struggled. The kicker missed a 22-yard field-goal attempt as time expired in the first half and failed to convert a 48-yarder with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the second time in four games Bryant has missed a pair of attempts. Wide receiver Julio Jones showed no signs of injury against Tampa Bay, catching six passes for 147 yards - including an 80-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Jones had been limited in practice last week due to a sore right ankle. Quarterback Matt Ryan has now led five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter this season and 21 during his five-year career. Running back Michael Turner capped the latest one Sunday, scoring on a 3-yard run with 7:55 remaining.


* Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
* Underdog is 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.


1. The Saints have won four straight and 11 of the last 13 meetings between the division rivals.

2. Graham and Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez became the first pair of tight ends to have at least 120 yards receiving and two TDs in the same game.

3. Gonzalez caught a pair of scoring passes in the first meeting, the first making him the first tight end in NFL history with 100 touchdown receptions.

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Saints at Falcons
By Brian Edwards

The Atlanta Falcons have enjoyed unprecedented success since owner Arthur Blank made a pair of surprising hires, plucking New England’s Director of College Scouting Thomas Dimitroff to be a General Manager for the first time and choosing Jacksonville defensive coordinator Mike Smith for his first head-coaching gig.

Before 2008, the Falcons had never enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons. On Smith’s watch, they have posted four consecutive winning seasons and are in the midst of a fifth straight. Smith has compiled a 53-22 straight-up record during the regular season.

However, a 0-3 record in the playoffs has stained an otherwise stellar run. Also, Atlanta has struggled to deal with its arch rival, New Orleans, which has won four in a row and seven of the last eight head-to-head meetings.

When these bitter NFC South rivals collide Thursday night at the Ga. Dome, Atlanta (10-1 straight up, 6-4-1 against the spread) will be looking to avenge its lone loss of the season, a 31-27 defeat to the Saints at the Superdome on Nov. 11. The Falcons were stymied on the goal line at crunch time in the loss as one-point road favorites.

This time around, most betting shops have installed Atlanta as a 3½-point favorite with a total of 56. Gamblers can take New Orleans (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS) on the money line for a plus-165 payout (risk $100 to win $165).

Atlanta survived a division road test last week, capturing a 24-23 win at Tampa Bay as a one-point road ‘chalk.’ Michael Turner scored the game-winning touchdown on a three-yard scamper on a quick pitch to the left with 7:55 remaining.

Matt Ryan shook off a five-interception debacle the previous week to complete 26-of-32 throws for 353 yards with one TD and one interception. The Boston College product hit Julio Jones with an 80-yard scoring strike in the third quarter. Jones finished with six receptions for 147 yards.

For the season, Ryan has connected on 68.5 percent of his passes for 3,425 yards with a 21/13 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Jones has made 53 catches for 853 yards and six TDs, while Roddy White has 67 receptions for 1,003 yards and four TDs. Tony Gonzalez has 69 catches for 712 yards and six TDs.

Despite those gaudy numbers, Atlanta needs to start running the ball more effectively if it wants to be successful in January. Turner has averaged only 3.5 yards per carry to date.

New Orleans lost its first four games, only to respond with five wins in its next six games going into last week’s home contests versus San Francisco. The 49ers cooled off the Saints by intercepting Drew Brees twice and returning those picks for touchdowns. They captured a 31-21 victory as one-point road ‘chalk.’

Brees threw for 267 yards and three TDs, but the pick-six’s proved costly. The Purdue product has thrown for 3,333 yards with a 33/11 TD-INT ratio.

The Saints’ woes have been tied to their leaky defense, a unit ranked 28th in the NFL in scoring defense. They give up 27.6 points per game. They are last in rush defense, surrendering 156.5 yards per game on the ground.

New Orleans WR Marques Colston and TE Jimmy Graham have both caught a team-high 55 receptions. Also, both have eight TD grabs apiece.

Atlanta is unbeaten in five home games this season, but it just 2-3 ATS at the Ga. Dome. During Smith’s five-year tenure, the Falcons have compiled a 19-10-1 ATS mark as home favorites.

New Orleans is 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS in five road assignments this year.

The ‘under’ is 7-4 overall for the Falcons, 4-1 in their home games. Meanwhile, the Saints have seen the ‘over’ go 7-4 overall, 3-2 in their five road assignments. The ‘over’ is 7-3 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these clubs.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. Eastern on The NFL Network.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Former Falcon Curtis Lofton, who signed with the Saints in the offseason, says New Orleans doesn’t even really look at Atlanta as a big rival.

Philadelphia has the NFL’s worst spread record, limping to an atrocious 1-9-1 spread record.

Tampa Bay owns the NFL’s best spread ledger with an 8-2-1 ATS mark.

The ‘over’ has hit in nine consecutive New England games. The Patriots have a total of 51 in Sunday’s game at Miami.

There are six home underdogs on the Week 13 card: Rams (+7 vs. 49ers), Dolphins (+7.5 vs. New England), Chiefs (+3 vs. Panthers), Chargers (+2 vs. Bengals), Titans (+6 vs. Titans) and Redskins (+2.5 vs. Giants on Monday Night Football).

The ‘under’ is an NFL-best 8-3 for both the Cardinals and Giants.

The ‘over’ has cashed in seven straight head-to-head meetings between Seattle and Chicago. The Bears-Seahawks’ total for Sunday is 37 ½ at Solider Field.

After missing back-to-back games, Percy Harvin was upgraded to ‘probable’ on Wednesday for Sunday’s showdown at Green Bay. The Vikings are nine-point underdogs.

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Week 13 NFL

Saints (5-6) @ Falcons (10-1) —
New Orleans (+2) beat Falcons 31-27 at home three weeks ago, Atlanta’s only loss this year, outrushing them 148-46 for 11th win in last 13 series games; Saints won last three visits here, all by exactly three points. Five of last six series games were decided by 4 or less points. Falcons’ last three games were also all decided by 4 or less points; they’re 5-0 at home, with all five wins by 6 or less points (2-3 as HF). Atlanta is 6-4-1 vs spread in last 11 games as a divisional home favorite. Saints are 5-1 when they score 28+ points, 0-5 when they don’t; they’re 2-2 as underdog this year, 1-1 on road. Atlanta allowed 28+ points in only two games, but one of them was against Saints. Last three NO games went over the total; five of last seven Falcon games stayed under. Underdogs are 4-2 vs spread in NFC South divisional games this season.

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Saints vs. Falcons Point Spread, Vegas Betting Lines and Pick
By: The Linemakers

The New Orleans Saints (5-6) and Atlanta Falcons (10-1) meet Thursday night at the Georgia Dome (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network). Here is point spread information and trends analysis from The Linemakers on Sporting News. Visit our live odds board for updated NFL Week 13 lines.

Weather: Indoors

Line: Falcons -4, Total: 56

Line movement: The Falcons opened -4.5 on Sunday night and within 90-minutes had been bet down to -4. Ten minutes later, the game was down to -3.5 as more Saints money came in. It’s bounced back and forth from -3.5 to its current number of -4 a couple of times this week. The total of 56 hasn’t moved.

Recent meetings:

11/11/2012: Saints 31-27 (Falcons -1) at New Orleans

12/26/2011: Saints 45-16 (Saints -6.5) at New Orleans

11/13/2011: Saints 26-23 (OT) (Falcons -1) at Atlanta

Series trends – StatFox Six Pack

ATLANTA is 9-23 ATS at home after two or more consecutive wins since 1992.

ATLANTA is 15-33 ATS after gaining 6.5 or more yards/play in its previous game since 1992.

ATLANTA is 11-1 UNDER after gaining 400 or more total yards/game over their last three games since 1992.

NEW ORLEANS is 8-0 ATS vs. poor pass def. – those allowing comp. pct. of 61+ – in the 2nd half of season over last two seasons.

NEW ORLEANS is 8-0 ATS vs. poor def. – those allowing 5.65+ yds/play – in the 2nd half of season over last two seasons.

NEW ORLEANS is 11-1 ATS in the 2nd half of season over the last two seasons.

Saints outlook: New Orleans has won and covered four straight against its NFC South rival, is 11-2 SU in the last 13 meetings, and is the far more desperate team here. New Orleans probably has to win out to snag a wildcard. QB Drew Brees, who threw three TDs but two pick-6s last week against San Francisco’s fierce pass rush, has tossed an NFL-best 31 TDs. The Saints lead the NFL in red-zone offense, scoring TDs on 73.5 percent of their trips inside an opponent’s 20-yard line. But New Orleans ranks last in total defense (454.8) and rush defense (156.5). In the first meeting this year, a 31-27 Saints win, TE Jimmy Graham went off for seven catches for 146 yards and two scores, and the defense came up big near the goal line.

Saints’ key injuries:

T Charles Brown (knee) doubtful

T Zach Strief (hernia) questionable

CB Corey White (knee) questionable

DE Junior Galette (ankle) questionable

Falcons outlook: Coach Mike Smith is 2-7 against the Saints and 49-15 against the rest of the NFL. Since this year’s loss to New Orleans, Atlanta has won two games by a combined five point — at home vs. the Cardinals and in Tampa Bay. The Falcons rank eighth in scoring (26.7) and sixth in points allowed (19.6). Atlanta’s biggest problem in the first meeting vs. the Saints came in short yardage, as Michael Turner was held to 15 yards on 13 carries. Jacquizz Rodgers, who ran 10 times for 49 yards and a score and caught two passes for 30 yards last week against the Bucs, likely will get more touches going forward. Atlanta can clinch the division with a win and a Buccaneers’ loss or tie at Denver on Sunday.

Falcons’ key injuries:

CB Dunta Robinson (head) questionable

DT Peria Jerry (quad) questionable

S Charles Mitchell (calf) questionable

What The Linemakers are saying: We like the line the LVH is using (-4), which is the highest number in town. You could make an argument that the line could be higher, at least -5. When these teams played three weeks ago, the Falcons were -1.5 in New Orleans. What happened between now and then to make Atlanta only -3.5 a home, just a two-point differential from what they were on the road? Have the Falcons gotten worse? No, but in some ways the Saints have. Their loss to the 49ers last week gave them six losses on the season and puts them in a tough situation to make the playoffs. Also, Drew Brees hasn’t thrown for over 300 yards in his past five games. We’re going with the Falcons at home here.

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