Thursday Night Football, Thanksgiving edition – and it will head to Louisiana this week for a key showdown in the NFC South. The 9-1 New Orleans Saints will look to further their divisional lead, and continue their case for top seed in the conference as they welcome the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons have had yet another lackluster season, entering Week 12 with a dismal 4-6 record. They have some solid offensive talent, but they have failed to piece it all together over the past two seasons. Since their collapse in the Super Bowl two years ago – this group has simply failed to get the job done.
New Orleans looks unstoppable at the moment. Days after beating the Rams, the Saints obliterated last year’s champions in the Eagles. Their offense is firing on all cylinders, and their defensive game has also really improved of late. Can they avoid an inevitable letdown game? Read on below the odds to find out, as we seek to close out what promises to be a thrilling Thanksgiving Thursday of NFL action.
Falcons vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons +13 (-120)
@ New Orleans Saints -13 (+100)
Over 60 (-110)
Under 60 (-110)
Falcons vs. Saints Pick:
The Saints are dominant right now offensively, scoring 45 points in three straight games. Drew Brees is in a zone at the moment, and though this game does seem like a pretty epic mismatch in talent, it’s worth noting that the Atlanta Falcons are expected to get their best defensive player back in Deion Jones. Jones remains one of the NFL’s best linebackers, and his presence alone should really help to limit the Saints’ running attack, led by Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.
In the passing game, while the Saints will never be stopped completely, it looks like Atlanta might have healthy enough pieces to limit New Orleans somewhat. Desmond Trufant will blanket Michael Thomas, and beyond that are an array of question marks. Atlanta’s secondary though beyond Trufant does have a tendency to be vulnerable. In the pass rush department, the Falcons do have some key pieces that could generate pressure, but the Saints’ offensive line has blocked well of late.
For the Falcons to have a realistic shot in this game, Matt Ryan and his offense will need to keep pace and put points up – at least in the high 20’s. The Saints’ defense has been much better recently, but Atlanta can and will score on Thursday evening.
The Saints did a number last week on Philadelphia because they were able to generate so much pressure. Without two of their key linemen, they struggled to contain the Saints’ pass rush. This week, Atlanta is well-equipped to deal with the Saints’ rush and should be able to give Matt Ryan enough time and space in the pocket to look downfield and make good reads. Marshon Lattimore will likely be glued to Julio Jones, but the Falcons do possess good depth in Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley. That duo could be in line for big outings.
This spread has soared to an unreasonable number. Yes, the Saints are pretty elite – but the Falcons aren’t just going to roll over for a divisional rival on Thanksgiving Thursday in a primetime spot. Atlanta still boasts a solid offense, and with Deion Jones back for the Falcons, they’ll do a much better job defensively. This one will be surprisingly close, and expect the Falcons to put a bit of a scare into their longtime rivals.
PICK = Falcons +13 (-120)