Monday Night Football Week 3: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
The Falcons head down to the Big Easy in what will be the final game of Week 3, which is also projected to be the highest scoring. The NFC South divisional matchup is important for both teams, but particularly critical for the New Orleans Saints who would fall to 0-3 with a loss.
The odds originally opened with New Orleans as -3.5 favorites, but the odds now stand at Saints -2.5 (-115) and Falcons +2.5 (-105). About 70 percent of bets have come in on New Orleans. The total opened at 52.5 and is now at 53.5. Almost 80 percent of wagers have come in on the over.
New Orleans Saints: Losing Streak
New Orleans is win-less and is coming off a tough loss to the New York Giants. Like tonight’s game, the total was north of 50 points in that game, but the two teams combined for just 29 points. The Saints offense had one of their worst performances in years in the 16-13 loss.
New Orleans wide receiver Willie Snead is not expected to play tonight after not practicing all week with a toe injury. His absence will thrust Michael Thomas into a larger role and possibly tight end Colby Fleener.
Strong safety Kenny Vaccaro is also expected to be out. New Orleans defense is probably the worst in the league and losing Vaccaro is another big hit. The Saints have been using a three-safety formation with Vaccaro, Jarius Byrd, and rookie Vonn Bell. They’re now running thin on options and talent in their already porous secondary.
Atlanta Falcons: Jones is Back
Atlanta is 1-1 after losing to the division rival Buccaneers in Week 1. They did bounce back last week at Oakland winning 35-28 in a shootout. Matt Ryan threw for almost 400 yards and added three touchdowns, including one to wide receiver Julio Jones.
Speaking of Jones, he was limited for much of the week in practice but is expected to play tonight. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that Jones will be a “full go” and he apparently did not look limited in Saturday’s practice.
NFL Betting Prediction
If you can find Atlanta +3 anywhere at a reasonable price, go ahead and jump on it. I don’t love them at +2.5, but I still think they are the sharp side in this one. With much of the public infatuated with the Saints at home, the odds may shift back to +3 as we get closer to kickoff.
New Orleans always seems to erupt for huge offensive numbers at home, and that’s likely how this game will play out, but for every big performance – there are plenty of duds. Their defense is a total sieve and absence of Snead is a big loss for their passing game, especially in the red zone.
I am no fan of Matt Ryan, but like every quarterback that faces the Saints – this will likely be the easiest matchup he has all season. Ryan may not even need a healthy Jones to put up big numbers, but he has him. He should run wild against this secondary.
Pick: Falcons +2.5