|Monday Night Football Week 8 Falcons at Saints Picks & Predictions|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Monday, 02 November 2009 07:00|
Falcons at Saints Pick
The Monday Night Football matchup in Week 8 should be a good one as the undefeated New Orleans Saints host their NFC South rivals, the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons are coming off an embarrassing 37-21 defeat in Dallas last Sunday as they allowed Tony Romo to rack up over 300 yards passing. Matt Ryan threw for 198 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Roddy White caught six passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Atlanta failed to cover as 5-point underdogs.
The Saints won a wild contest in Miami last Sunday, coming from behind to beat the Dolphins 46-34. Drew Brees threw for 298 yards with a touchdown pass, but was intercepted three times as the Saints covered as 6.5-point favorites. Brees also added two rushing touchdowns, while Jeremy Shockey caught four passes for 105 yards in the victory.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Saints 12-point favorites over the Falcons on Monday night. The over/under total has been set at a whopping 55 points for this matchup.
It would be easy to fall into the trap set by oddsmakers tonight. The Saints have a great offense and have proven they can score at will. The Falcons also have a decent offense and could certainly contribute to the total themselves.
So take the over 55 right? Not so fast.
One thing people are overlooking is how well New Orleans has played defensively this year. They have been a much-improved unit under new coordinator Gregg Williams and will certainly give Ryan and Michael Turner fits tonight. In fact, Turner hasn’t been able to get going all year and his backup, Jerious Norwood, isn’t expected to play.
The Falcons aren’t great defensively by any means, but one thing they do well is play a bend-but-don’t-break style. Brees should rack up plenty of yardage and move the ball successfully on the below average Atlanta secondary, but he might find things tougher than usual to get the ball in the end zone because the Falcons tighten things up around the goal line.
Another thing people tend to overlook is that the Saints are running the ball more than they’re throwing it, which obviously keeps the clock moving. The Falcons are going to want to establish their running game as well, so the first quarter might cruise by without much scoring.
Don’t bite – take the under in this matchup. It’s a divisional game that should be a well-played ballgame with few turnovers. In fact, we think the Falcons will play things cautiously for the most part and the Saints won’t turn the ball over as much as they did last week.
We also like a small play on the Falcons in this game, because they have yet to lose back-to-back games under head coach Mike Smith yet. We doubt they win this game outright, but Atlanta is a playoff contender and we like them getting 12 points in such a pivotal game.
Our NFL Week 8 Free Pick for this matchup is: ATLANTA FALCONS +12 and UNDER 55.
233 Atlanta Falcons +12 Over 55
234 New Orleans Saints –12 Under 55
Atlanta is 19-5-1 ATS in its last 25 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
Posted: 11/2/09 12:00PM ET