New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 13

All eyes will be on this week’s Thursday Night Football game as the New Orleans Saints travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. The Falcons are 10-1 and the Saints are 5-6; but the Saints are the only team to hand Atlanta a loss this season when three weeks ago the Falcons went to New Orleans and lost 31-27. The loss was not the only surprise for Atlanta, the Saints stacked up 148 rushing yards in their victory. This is very uncharacteristic of the Saints as they average 91.5 yards per game on the ground. So the question is can New Orleans repeat that performance? In their last meeting Atlanta was favored to win the game by a narrow spread.

This week Atlanta is again the favorite but with a slightly larger spread of 4 points and the over/under is 56 points.

On paper these two offenses produce the same yardage on average per game of about 384 yards. Last game Atlanta had 454 total yards and New Orleans had 440 total yards. New Orleans’ defense allows an average of 455 yards per game but Atlanta’s defense allows an average of 345 yards per game. Atlanta usually allows 123 yards rushing per game so, yes, New Orleans beat that average but the bigger story is Atlanta giving up 292 passing yards when they average 222 passing yards allowed. Of course, there is also New Orleans’ defense who gave up 408 passing yards to Atlanta but the Saints normally allow 298 yards passing on average. Their last game was all about abnormalities. The best explanation for this might be that Atlanta seems to play to the level of their opponents. Another explanation could be that New Orleans got the home field advantage that they needed to win.

Probably the explanation is a combination of those two factors but for this game Atlanta will have the home field advantage and will likely benefit from the psychological thrashing New Orleans took in their loss last week to the 49ers. Three weeks ago the over/under was 54 points. That it has been raised for this week is a reflection of last game. Going over again this week would be completely feasible. New Orleans averages 28 points per game and Atlanta averages 26.7 points per game. So we know both teams average near the over/under total. With no injuries and very little time to make changes since their last game, probably we’ll see a similar game. Going over with a 4 point spread favoring Atlanta would give a minimum score of 31-27; just like last game.

The trouble with Atlanta is that they have a strong pass defense and a slightly below average run defense; but it did not show three weeks ago. Instead New Orleans went 2 for 3 in the red zone and Atlanta took 6 penalties for 53 yards to New Orleans; 3 for 35 yards. Basically New Orleans outplayed Atlanta; and there are few reason to think they cannot do it again. But as said, on paper Atlanta is the better team and Atlanta’s defence should be ready to play a much tougher game this time around. Asking either team to beat this spread seems unlikely as last game finished with a 4 point spread and Atlanta has been finishing with close games lately.

Basically Atlanta is on notice, New Orleans is the best team Atlanta has played thus far and the Saints won. If Atlanta cannot beat New Orleans this week things will look bleak for them when they play the NY Giants in three weeks and the same for the post season.

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