On an eight-game winning streak and having already booked their ticket to the playoffs, the favored Atlanta Falcons can tie up the NFC South title on Monday when they take on the New Orleans Saints.
The Falcons improved to an NFC-best 12-2 last week by slamming Seattle 34-18 as a 6-point home favorite. Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes for Atlanta, and Michael Turner rushed for 82 yards on 25 carries.
With the win Atlanta remained undefeated at home this season at 6-0 SU, and they're also 4-2 ATS at home on the NFL odds.
ADVERTISEMENT: The Falcons are 17-3 SU past 20 at home and 9-2 ATS past 11 games as a favorite. The best Falcon line is at 5Dimes while the best Saints odds are +3 at [custom:bodog-link] today.
The Saints had a six-game winning streak snapped last week by a 30-24 loss to Baltimore as a 2.5-point underdog. Drew Brees had three touchdown passes and an interception but he and the Saints' offense couldn't keep up with the Ravens, who out-gained New Orleans 356-269.
The Saints had a hard time stopping running back Ray Rice (153 yards on 31 carries), which could mean a big game for the Falcons' Turner on Monday.
The Falcons and Saints met up in New Orleans back in Week 3 and Atlanta squeaked out a 27-24 upset win in overtime as a 3-point road underdog on the NFL odds. The Saints sent the game to overtime thanks to a Garrett Hartley field goal with seconds left in the fourth quarter, while Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant connected on a 46-yard field goal in OT to give Atlanta the win.
Ryan passed for 228 yards with two touchdowns that day, while Turner rolled over the Saints for 114 yards and a TD on 30 carries. Tight end Tony Gonzalez had a big game in that win with eight receptions for 110 yards and a TD. Brees passed for 365 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, which included six passes for Lance Moore for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Atlanta may have won the Week 3 battle, but the Saints have dominated the matchup for a few seasons now with a 7-2 SU mark in their last nine versus the Falcons. That hasn't meant much for bettors though, as the Saints were only 4-5 ATS in those nine games.
The Falcons are a 2.5-point favorite for Monday at [custom:bodog-link] and the total was set at 49. The prediction models for Monday Night Football at OddsShark.com suggest the final score might be Atlanta 30, New Orleans 28. This would mean the Falcons would not cover the spread while the total would be an OVER result.
No offense to the number-crunching predictor, but since the Falcons can win by only a field goal and still cover we'll be taking Atlanta tonight. In their last 11 games as the favorite the Falcons are 11-0 SU and 9-2 ATS. They've also covered the spread in their last six when favored. [ Matchup Stats ]
When the Saints are the underdog they usually live up to expectations and bring home a loss. In their last 12 games as the underdog New Orleans has only delivered two upsets at 2-10 SU and 4-7-1 ATS. Look for the Falcons to hand the Saints a loss on Monday.