Two bitter NFC South rivals clash in a huge contest Sunday afternoon as the 8-0 Atlanta Falcons travel to the Superdome to take on a rejuvenated New Orleans Saints side riding a wave of positive momentum.
Entering the season, many questions existed surrounding the Saints and how’d they react in the wake of bounty-gate. Though these Saints began the season amid awful circumstances, and still struggle on defense, this is a powerful squad that can ruffle feathers at the top of the NFL’s food chain. They throttled the Eagles on Monday Night Football last week, and have to be relishing the opportunity to ruin the perfect season of Atlanta in front of their hometown fans. Not a lot has gone right for the Saints this season, but they may have reached a turning point. This is a team that is capable of winning a bunch of games, and it could start with a massive victory over the hated Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta does enter this contest a perfect 8-0, but they’ve been far from dominant in 2012. They’ve had many near misses and close-calls, including near defeats at home to the lowly Raiders and Panthers. Atlanta is a playoff-bound squad for sure, and has likely already wrapped up this division, but they are not the best team in football, and are severely overvalued despite their record. They’ve only beaten one team this season with a winning record, and the combined records of their opponents is 24-41. While they’re a better team than the Saints, playing in New Orleans is a different story. We’ll find out a lot about this Atlanta squad after Sunday afternoon.
Falcons vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons -2.5 (-110)
@ New Orleans Saints +2.5 (-110)
Over 53.5 (-110)
Under 53.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Saints Pick:
This will be an incredibly intriguing game, and one in which the betting public will find out a lot about these two teams. Can the Saints shake their horrific start to the season, and make a late push? I say yes as New Orleans enters this game playing great football and are fearless at home. The Saints will be highly motivated come Sunday afternoon and should be able to seize the opportunity and deal their rival Falcons their first loss of the season.
The Saints have won 10 of their past 12 games against the Falcons, including a beatdown from last season when Atlanta came into the Superdome. While it will likely be a much tighter affair this time around, look for the Saints to end the Falcons’ streak and send them home with a loss under their belts.
For New Orleans, Darren Sproles remains out in their backfield, but look for Drew Brees and the passing attack to step up regardless. The Saints possess a lethal passing game, and if their three-headed monster out of the backfield can replicate what was done last week against the Eagles, look for the Saints to have no trouble moving the chains. New Orleans is 14-3 against the number in their last 17 home games. This is a dominant home team, and despite their passive defense, they will do enough to get a victory on Sunday.
While it seems a tad silly to suggest the Falcons are “due” for a loss, this is an overachieving team that has escaped the taste of defeat far too closely this season. Atlanta is no doubt a good team, but they’ll struggle in what promises to be a hostile atmosphere on Sunday afternoon. Add in the fact that their defense will be without Sean Weatherspoon for another weak, and all signs point to New Orleans in this clash. After a horrid start, the Saints are starting to roll and their positives on offense outweigh the negatives of their defense. Expect a high-scoring, tightly-contest affair, with Brees and the Saints edging out a 34-31 victory.
PICK = Saints +2.5 (-110)