NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 21

NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 21

NEW ORLEANS (8 - 2) at ATLANTA (2 - 8) - 11/21/2013, 8:25 PM

Top Trends for this game.
NEW ORLEANS is 22-11 ATS (+9.9 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 20-7 ATS (+12.3 Units) in dome games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.
ATLANTA is 2-8 ATS (-6.8 Units) in all games this season.
ATLANTA is 2-8 ATS (-6.8 Units) in all lined games this season.
ATLANTA is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) as an underdog this season.
ATLANTA is 2-10 ATS (-9.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.

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 UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

New Orleans is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
New Orleans is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Atlanta's last 7 games at home
Atlanta is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against New Orleans

New Orleans at Atlanta
New Orleans: 22-11 ATS as a favorite
Atlanta: 0-6 ATS as an underdog

New Orleans @ Atlanta

The Saints are 16-7 ATS as favorites of 3½ to 9½ points, 22-11 ATS as favorites overall, 20-7 ATS when playing in a dome, 10-3 ATS versus losing teams and 10-1 ATS on the divisional road in November. However, the Saints are just 1-6 ATS when playing on Thursday. The Falcons are just 1-5 ATS as an underdog of 3½ to 9½ points, 5-12 ATS as an underdog overall, 4-17 ATS as a home dog of 3½ to 7 points, 2-8 ATS off 3 or more losses, 2-10 ATS versus winning teams and 5-10 ATS versus divisional opponents. However, Atlanta is 7-1 ATS when playing on Thursday. Note New Orleans is 5-1 ATS the last 6 meetings versus Atlanta.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Thursday, November 21

Thursday Night Football Betting: Saints at Falcons

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (+10, 53)

The New Orleans Saints are riding high after another comeback victory, and they hope to continue that momentum as they travel to Atlanta to face the struggling Falcons on Thursday. The Saints booted three fourth-quarter field goals to edge San Francisco 23-20 on Sunday and maintain their NFC South lead. They might not need a late rally against the Falcons - the Saints have won five of the last six meetings and 12 of the last 15, including a 23-17 home victory in Week 1.

The Falcons have lost four straight for the first time since 2007 - also the last time they finished with a losing record - but coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff received a vote of confidence from owner Arthur Blank after Sunday's 41-28 loss to Tampa Bay. "It's a tough business. We've had a lot of injuries, and issues on top of the injuries," Blank told reporters. "These guys are proven leaders and proven by success. … They'll do the work that has to be done with my full support." A win over the Saints would go a long way in backing up that faith, but that's a long shot against a New Orleans team that ranks in the top five in the NFL in total yards and scoring on both sides of the ball.

LINE: The line opened with the Falcons as +7 home dogs and have been bet to +10. The total has been steady at 53.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: New Orleans (-6.0) + Atlanta (+5.5) + home field (-3.0) = New Orleans -8.5

ABOUT THE SAINTS (8-2, 6-4 ATS): New Orleans might be the most complete team in the league with Drew Brees directing the potent pass-heavy attack and
defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's revamped unit continuing to play well. Injuries are mounting on the defensive side, though, with cornerback Jabari Greer suffering a gruesome knee injury Sunday and rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro still questionable after missing the past two games. The Saints are far more susceptible on the road, where they've lost to New England and the New York Jets and survived close contests at Tampa Bay and Chicago.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (2-8, 2-8 ATS): Atlanta's defense was shredded by a rookie quarterback and a running back making his first NFL start versus Tampa Bay, so the Falcons might be in big trouble against Brees and the Saints' high-powered attack. The offense has been far too one-dimensional, ranking 31st at 73.1 rushing yards per game, which doesn't bode well against the Saints' third-ranked pass defense. Atlanta's defense is getting closer to full strength with linebacker Sean Weatherspoon back, but the unit continues to struggle and has allowed more than 400 total yards in two straight games.


* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Atlanta.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Saints are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Falcons are 0-4 ATS in their last four overall.


1. Brees (49,288) needs 38 passing yards to move past Warren Moon for fifth in NFL history. John Elway is fourth at 51,475.

2. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan's 14 interceptions match his career high set in 2009 and tied last season, and his 89.2 rating is his lowest since an 80.9 mark in 2009.

3. The Falcons are the only team since 2009 to hold Brees without a touchdown pass, as he threw five interceptions without a TD in a 23-13 loss at Atlanta last season.

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Saints at Falcons
By Kevin Rogers

The Falcons were within one touchdown of making the Super Bowl last season, but Atlanta is just two wins above zero nearing Thanksgiving this season. Atlanta sits at the bottom of the NFC South with a 2-8 record, while being listed as a heavy home underdog against the division-leading Saints on Thursday night, as New Orleans is looking to set itself up for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

The Saints start a stretch with four of the next five games away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, while heading to Seattle for an epic showdown in 11 days which may decide the top-seed in the NFC. Sean Payton's team picked up an important conference victory last Sunday against San Francisco, who suffered its second crushing defeat in New Orleans since February's Super Bowl defeat to Baltimore. The Niners were in line to grab the road win with a 20-17 lead late in the fourth quarter as San Francisco LB Ahmad Brooks sacked Saints' quarterback Drew Brees and caused a fumble. In spite of San Francisco recovering the fumble, Brooks was flagged for a personal foul and negating the turnover, even though the linebacker never hit Brees with his head.

New Orleans took advantage of the second chance by driving down to kick the game-tying field goal with two minutes remaining, then Garrett Hartley drilled the game-winner from 31 yards out to give the Saints a 23-20 triumph. The 49ers managed to cover as 3½-point road underdogs, but San Francisco backers felt like this team should have cashed outright. The two teams combined for just one touchdown in the second half, as the 'under' of 50 hit with little pressure.
It seems like each week the Falcons are hitting rock-bottom with every defeat, but Atlanta allowed a season-high 41 points to Tampa Bay this past Sunday. The Buccaneers picked up only their second victory of the season, equaling the Falcons in the win department with a 41-28 rout that wasn't even that close. Tampa Bay built a 38-6 lead in the third quarter, as Atlanta scored two late touchdowns to make the score closer, while Bobby Rainey rushed for a career-best 163 yards and two scores.

The Falcons have lost four straight games for the first time in the Mike Smith era, as the last skid of this length came back in 2007. Atlanta has yielded at least 27 points in its previous seven defeats, while the least amount of points given up by the Falcons in a loss came in the season-opening defeat at New Orleans.

The Saints rallied for a 23-17 home triumph to kick off the season at the Superdome, overcoming an early 10-0 deficit to the Falcons. Brees torched the Atlanta defense for 357 yards and two touchdowns, while Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan put together the first of five 300-yard games on the season. New Orleans has won eight of the last 10 meetings with Atlanta since 2008, as the Saints are 3-1 the last four visits to the Georgia Dome. handicapper Antony Dinero says Atlanta won't give up in spite of its struggles, "You're starting to hear vocal support for Coach Smith from both management and key players, which means the Falcons haven't quit on him despite this nightmare season. Seeing that materialize on the field would help, too, especially on the heels of losing to Tampa. Atlanta would get up for playing New Orleans in two-hand touch at a company picnic, so if nothing else, you'll see a strong effort. The Saints can't afford to just show up, especially since they must overcome missing pieces on defense against a capable Ryan. This might wind up a blowout, but going in expecting the Falcons to just roll over against their primary NFC South rival would be a mistake."

From a totals perspective, the Saints have hit the 'over' in five of the last seven games, while Atlanta has eclipsed the 'over' in four of five home contests. The Falcons are involved in their second game with a total higher than 50 this season, as the opener at New Orleans went 'under' the total of 54½. The Saints are 2-2 to the 'over' in totals above 50, while scoring at least 26 points three times in this total range.

The Saints are listed as 9½-point road favorites, while the total is set between 53 and 53½. The game kicks off at 8:30 PM EST from the Georgia Dome and can be seen on the NFL Network.

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NFL Week 12

Saints (8-2) @ Falcons (2-8) —
Normally you’d look at this as trap game with Saints in between games with NFC powers 49ers/Seattle, but Atlanta is Saints’ biggest rival; they’ve beaten Falcons seven of last eight games, nipping them 23-17 (-3) in season opener when Atlanta couldn’t score in last minute from inside Saints’ 10-yard line. Can’t look at any Falcon trends this year, they’ve been so bad past trends don’t matter; Atlanta lost last four games and seven of last eight- they were outscored 47-9 in first half of last two games and appear disinterested. Saints are only 2-2 on road, with wins by 2-8 points, but those games were outdoors; this is controlled climate of dome- NO is scoring 33 ppg in domes this year, 22.3 outdoors- they won five of last seven visits to Peachtree Street, and won five of six second matches with Atlanta when they won first meeting that season. Saints have nine TDs on last 11 red zone drives; Falcons have four TDs on last eight. NFL-wide, divisional home underdogs are 9-8-1 vs spread. Seven of last nine Atlanta games, four of last five Saint games went over the total.

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Falcons look for an upset

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-2) at ATLANTA FALCONS (2-8) Line & Total: New Orleans -10 & 53.5
Opening Line & Total: Saints -8 & 53.5

The Falcons try to end a long losing skid when they host the division rival Saints on Thursday night.

New Orleans remained perfect at home with a 23-20 win over the 49ers Sunday, but is just 1-3 ATS (2-2 SU) on the road this year. But Atlanta has been drilled in four straight games, losing by an average of 18.5 PPG. The Falcons were three yards away from a Week 1 road win over the Saints, but QB Matt Ryan was intercepted in the end zone in the game’s final minute of a 23-17 defeat.

Although QB Drew Brees is 12-3 with 4,635 passing yards and 31 TD in this series since arriving in New Orleans, he threw 5 INT in last year’s visit to Atlanta, resulting in a 23-13 loss. However, since the start of 2011, the Saints are 20-7 ATS (74%) in dome games, and 15-3 ATS (83%) versus poor passing defenses (235+ passing YPG allowed). Although the Falcons are 0-6 ATS as an underdog this year, they are 11-3 ATS (79%) when coming off a double-digit loss under head coach Mike Smith.

Both teams are dealing with significant injuries, as New Orleans could be without RB Darren Sproles (ankle) and S Kenny Vaccaro (concussion), while Atlanta star TE Tony Gonzalez (toe) and backup RB Jason Snelling (legal problems) are also listed as questionable.

Saints QB Drew Brees is in the midst of another tremendous season, ranking second in the NFL (behind only Peyton Manning) in passing yards (3,369) and passing touchdowns (26), while throwing just 8 INT on his 406 pass attempts. He has done this by targeting four receivers at least 55 times -- TE Jimmy Graham (846 rec. yards, 10 TD), WR Marques Colston (529 rec. yards, 2 TD) and RBs Darren Sproles (463 rec. yards, 2 TD) and Pierre Thomas (349 rec. yards, 3 TD). All four of these players caught at least four passes in the Week 1 win over Atlanta, with Graham and Colston scoring touchdowns.

The ground game has shown signs of life in the past two weeks with 334 rushing yards, but it still ranks 23rd in the NFL in both rushing yards (97.2 YPG) and yards per carry (3.9 YPC). RB Mark Ingram has rushed for 189 yards on 7.9 YPC since his return from a toe injury, but he was held to 11 yards on nine carries in the Week 1 meeting with the Falcons.

The Saints defense set an NFL record for futility last year with 440 total YPG allowed, but they have cut that number down to 305 YPG this season, which ranks 4th in the NFL. They also rank third in the league in passing defense (191.4 YPG), but they continue to have a hard time stopping the run, allowing an NFL-worst 4.9 yards per carry this season. New Orleans gives up just 18.3 PPG (5th in league) due in large part to an NFL-low 26:15 time of possession. This has occurred not only due to a great offense, but also because the defense is preventing long drives with a 33% conversion rate defense on third down (3rd in NFL). The Saints need to force more mistakes though, tallying 0-to-1 takeaways in five of their past six games.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan has seen a huge drop in numbers this year, throwing for 7.1 YPA, 18 TD and 12 INT compared to 7.7 YPA, 32 TD and 14 INT from last season. His decline can be attributed largely to an injured receiving corps with WR Julio Jones (1,198 rec. yards, 10 TD last year) out for the season and WR Roddy White (1,351 rec. yards, 7 TD in 2012) compiling just 185 yards and 1 TD this year due to various ailments. But their injuries have allowed WR Harry Douglas (749 rec. yards) to emerge as Ryan's top target, especially over the past five games where Douglas has caught 35 passes for 535 yards and two scores. This includes a game-high 93 receiving yards in the Week 1 loss to New Orleans.

Douglas' emergence has also helped make up for a dreadful ground game that has the second-fewest rushing yards in the league (73.1 YPG). There was one bright spot to the rushing attack in last week's 41-28 loss to Tampa Bay though. RB Antone Smith, who entered the game with two career carries, gained 88 yards on just two rushes against the Bucs with a 50-yard touchdown and then a 38-yard gain, both in the fourth quarter.

As disappointing as the offense has been, it's really the Atlanta defense that is mostly to blame for this lost season. The Falcons have allowed the fourth-most points (29.2 PPG) and fourth-most yards per play (6.1) in the NFL, ranking 30th against the run (132.7 YPG) and 22nd against the pass (249.2 YPG). They have the 2nd-worst defense on third downs (46% conversions) and have also been gashed in the red zone (64% efficiency, 28th in NFL). Forcing mistakes has also been a weak spot for this team, as Atlanta has amassed a mere four takeaways in the past seven games combined.

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