Saints vs. Falcons Total Prediction
One of the better rivalries in football will be renewed on Sunday in Atlanta at 1:00 p.m. ET when the Falcons host their NFC South foes the New Orleans Saints. Can bettors expect a shootout?
1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, September 23
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Falcons are 3-point favorites to beat the Saints. The total, meanwhile, sits at 53 points. As of this writing, 53% of the public betting tickets are on the Falcons to cover the point spread.
New Orleans Saints
Saints coach Sean Payton plans to get Tre'Quan Smith more touches.
"We've got to find ways to get him more touches. He's handling our installation. And I think he's ready to prove that," Payton told reporters at Wednesday's media session. Smith got the start over Austin Carr last week, but played only 36 percent of snaps. That should rise with Ted Ginn battling a knee injury and Carr a non-factor. Smith's grasp of the playbook limited him the first two games, but he has impact potential now that he's playing in three-wide sets.
Julio Jones (calf) didn't practice on Wednesday. Jones saw close to his normal workload (48-of-63 offensive snaps) in Sunday's win over Carolina, so it's possible this is just a maintenance day. As long as he returns to practice by Friday, Julio should be good to go for Week 3 against New Orleans.
NFL Betting Trends
The over is 4-0 in the Saints’ last four games played in the NFC and 4-1 in their last five games overall. The over is also 7-3 in their last 10 divisional games.
The under is 8-1 in the Falcons’ last nine games overall and 4-1 in their last five games within the division.
These two teams played a low-scoring game in Atlanta last season but both teams were playing on short rest because the matchup was played on a Thursday night. The Falcons also had Deion Jones (who made a game-winning interception in the end zone in the closing seconds) and Keanu Neal still healthy. Both will miss Sunday’s game in Atlanta and I fully expect Drew Brees and Sean Payton to take advantage of the Falcons’ injuries. Atlanta will also need to push the pace on offense if it wants to hang with New Orleans so all-told, I see this game being an old fashion shootout, much like we’ve seen in past meetings between these two teams.
NFL Week 3 Prediction: Saints/Falcons over 53