Falcons vs. Saints Point Spread: NFL Week 16 Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Dec 20, 2017

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Both the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons control their path to an NFC South division title. Of course, a lot hinges on what happens this week in New Orleans.

Atlanta
10-6
AT
December 24, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Pointspread +5.5 -110
Moneyline +210
Over / Under o +51.5

57%

Betting Action

43%

Pointspread -5.5 -110
Moneyline -260
Over / Under u +51.5

57%

Betting Action

43%

Both teams are coming off sluggish efforts as the Saints struggled at home to the Bryce Petty-led New York Jets while the Atlanta Falcons eked out a win over the beat-up Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams need a solid win to keep their momentum going as the playoffs arrive.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Atlanta improved to 9-5 straight up with its 24-21 win over the Buccaneers but fell to 6-8 against the spread this season. The Falcons have been particularly bad against the spread on the road this season with a 2-5 mark. The Falcons do play well as a dog, though, covering 11 of their last 16 as a dog.

The Saints play well as a favorite, though as they have won all nine games that they’ve been favored while covering seven of those games. They are 7-0 as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 while covering six of those seven games.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta offense hasn’t been nearly as dominant as it was a year ago as they seem to miss offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. However, Matt Ryan needs to be better. Ryan threw for just 212 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over Tampa Bay. He was held to 221 passing yards with a touchdown and three interceptions against the Saints the week before. It’s not just fantasy players that are frustrated with last year’s league MVP. He simply hasn’t been the same.

Running back Devonta Freeman had 91 rushing yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with New Orleans and should be in line for another strong performance after going off for 126 yards and a score against the Buccaneers. He can help share the burden on offense.

The Atlanta defense ranks in the top 10 in points allowed per game this season but they still have trouble holding leads. Once again, they nearly blew a double-digit lead at Tampa Bay on Monday. Even as some of the numbers indicate this is a quality unit, they simply don’t look as crisp as they were during last year’s playoff run.

 

New Orleans Saints

Kamara was injured in the first meeting between these teams and the New Orleans offense looked like a complete mess without him. He is healthy this week and both he and Mark Ingram will be looking for a measure of redemption. The Saints could very well end up as the first team in the last 42 years with two Pro Bowl running backs if Kamara and Ingram finish strong.

Drew Brees has thrown for at least 271 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in each of his last two games. However, the offense has taken a step back from the unit that dominated during the eight-game winning streak. They averaged 32.9 points per game during that span but are at 24.8 since. They need to have success on the ground to be balanced and to have a consistent play-action threat. The Falcons are giving up 4.3 yards per carry (24th in the NFL), so New Orleans has a good shot to find quality rushing lanes this week and avenge their close loss in Atlanta.

 

Falcons vs. Saints Prediction

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