Saints vs. Falcons Total Pick
Will Thursday night's matchup between the Saints and Falcons turn into a shootout when the NFC South rivals face off in a pivotal matchup at 8:25 p.m. ET?
Matchup: Saints (9-3) at Falcons (7-5)
TV: NBC, 8:25 p.m. ET
Line: Saints -1.5
ODDS: According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the over/under currently sits at 53.5 points after hitting the board at 55. As for the spread, the Falcons opened as 2-point home favorites but the line has since jumped the fence and now the Saints are -1.5.
PUBLIC BETTING: As of this writing, 65% of the betting tickets are on the Saints to cover the small spread.
KEY TRENDS: The underdog is 13-3 against the spread in the last 16 meetings between these two teams but the road squad has covered in four of the last five meetings.
OUR PREDICTION: These two teams are known for being offensive juggernauts but despite that notion, the under has cashed in six of the last eight meetings in Atlanta. Despite these two teams playing two high-scoring games a year ago in their respective buildings, I think Thursday night's game will fall under the total, too.
The Falcons had scored 78 points in their three previous games before running into Minnesota's stout defense. The Vikings held the Falcons to just three field goals in a 14-9 victory. New Orleans doesn't have the same ferocious defense as Minnesota but the Saints have held opponents to just 20.2 points per game. Atlanta's offense tends to shrink when its challenged and it will be challenged on Thursday night.
The other thing to consider is that the Saints are now a ball-control offense. It relies on the tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara to control the game and limit possessions for the other team. The Saints are now built to stymie the Falcons' offensive attack. I like this game to be relatively low-scoring.
NFL WEEK 14 OVER/UNDER PREDICTION: SAINTS/FALCONS UNDER 53.5