The Louisiana Superdome will be the site of a huge Week 3 NFC South matchup, as the New Orleans Saints take on their fiercest rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The game will get underway at 1 PM EST. New Orleans comes into the game a perfect 2-0 (1-1 ATS), while the Falcons come into the contest at 1-1 (1-1 ATS). The Saints have taken 7 of the last 8 matchups straight up.
Atlanta shook off an opening week overtime loss to the Steelers by pounding the Arizona Cardinals into submission last week. The Falcons lit up the Cards’ defense in a 41-7 victory. They easily covered the 7 point spread in the game and looked quite impressive in doing so. QB Matt Ryan was 21/32 for 225 yards and 3 touchdowns, without throwing an interception. The normal starting RB, Michael Turner, had 75 yards on 9 carries but was dinged up in the game. He was replaced by Jason Snelling who went off for 129 yards on 24 carries and made it to the end zone twice. The Falcons’ defense was also solid, intercepting 3 passes. Through 2 weeks, the Falcons are averaging 369.5 yards per game on offense – good for 6th in the NFL. The defense has held up their end of the bargain, allowing just 11 points per game, which is 5th best in the league.
The Saints have had a couple of tough tests to open their Super Bowl defense. After escaping their opener against Minnesota 14-9, New Orleans beat San Francisco 25-22 on a Garrett Hartley field goal as time expired. Saints QB Drew Brees was solid against the 49ers, completing 28 of 38 passes for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns, without an interception. For the second straight game, the Saints didn’t muster much of a running game and that figures to be even tougher this week as New Orleans lost RB Reggie Bush for the next 6 weeks with a broken fibula. In fact, the Saints feature the 31st ranked rushing attack in the NFL. The Saints’ defense was opportunistic as usual, creating 4 San Francisco turnovers. The champs have been squeaking out victories to open the season but are 3-7 in their last 10 games ATS.
Falcons vs. Saints Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons +4
@ New Orleans Saints -4
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Falcons vs. Saints Prediction for Week 3:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Saints have done what good teams do and managed to win both of their games so far this season, despite not playing at their highest level. They may very well win this game but recent form has shown New Orleans struggling to cover the spread. Atlanta has covered in 3 of the last 4 head to head matchups with the Saints and in 5 out of their last 6 overall. Top Play Prediction: Falcons +4
Game Total Prediction – The total for this game is set at 50 and these teams have had a number of shootouts in the past with 4 of their last 5 going over the posted total. However, something seems a little off with the Saints’ offense so far and both defences have been stingy in allowing points. When you factor in that the total has gone under in 7 of Atlanta’s last 8 games, I think this will be relatively low scoring. Prediction: Under 50
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