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Saints in Search of First Cover of the Season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

After looking out of sorts in the season-opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the offense of the Atlanta Falcons rebounded in a big way in a 31-24 win over the Carolina Panthers at home in Week 2. Matt Ryan and the rest of the Falcons will aim to post back-to-back victories over NFC South opponents with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in town this week. Sportsbooks opened the Falcons as 3-point home favorites with a total of 53.

SHARK BITES
  • The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Falcons’ last nine games (avg. combined score: 35.78).
  • The Saints are 1-5 SU in their last six games vs their division on the road.
  • The Saints are 6-0 ATS in their last six games after consecutive ATS losses.

Saints vs Falcons Game Center

No Freeman? No problem for Falcons

Ryan’s 272-yard effort on 23 of 28 completions along with a touchdown and an interception against the Panthers was solid, and he added two more scores on the ground. Despite missing starting running back Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman stepped in and compiled 107 yards on 16 carries. With Freeman sidelined two to three weeks, Coleman will draw the start again on Sunday.

Atlanta’s straight-up victory over the Panthers wasn’t much of a surprise for bettors who’ve been tailing them when they face off with the NFC South. In the Falcons’ last 12 meetings with divisional opponents, they’re a fantastic 10-2 SU. The Saints could be in trouble in this spot, as New Orleans is 1-3 SU in its last four trips to Atlanta and 1-5 SU in its past six road games vs divisional foes.

Saints are looking for first cover of the young season

While the Saints are 1-1 SU on paper, they’re 0-2 ATS and haven’t lived up to the preseason billing as the +155 favorites to win the NFC South. New Orleans avoided disaster in a 21-18 Week 2 win over the Cleveland Browns in Louisiana thanks to a missed field goal by Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez late in the game.

New Orleans was sloppy on both sides of the ball, as fumbles by wide receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. could’ve been costly. Brees went 28 of 35 for 243 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions, but the defense will have to step up if they’re going to beat the Falcons. The Saints defense allowed 521 total yards to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 before surrendering 327 to the Browns.

Expect the UNDER to get some traction at books

According to betting trends, the UNDER might be worth a look in this one. The Falcons have gone UNDER in eight of their last nine games dating back to last season, with an average combined score of 35.8 points. The UNDER is also 7-2 in the Saints’ last nine trips to Georgia. I don’t have a strong opinion on either side of this game, but if I was going to play something, I’d lean toward it going UNDER the total.

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