Saints vs. Falcons: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent INovember 28, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11:  Tony Gonzalez #88 celebrates after scoring a touchdown with  Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons against the New Orleans Saints at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Before the season started, many people probably thought this game would be a deciding factor in the NFC South.

Instead, the New Orleans Saints (5-6) need to win out in order to make the postseason while the 10-1 Atlanta Falcons hold a comfortable division lead.

Despite the record and playoff implications, it's always a good time when these two squads get together, especially in a prime time game like Thursday Night Football.

Buckle up, football fans. It's going to be a crazy ride on Thursday night.


Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.

When: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Watch: NFL Network


Spread: Falcons (-3.5) via Bet Online

Against the Saints' horrid defense, I have the Falcons covering this spread in the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta has a much better defense than New Orleans, which will come in handy against an offense led by Drew Brees.

I'm riding with Atlanta at home.

Over/Under: 55.5 (Bet Online)

I don't usually do this, but I like the over in this game.

Both squads boast insane offenses, and when they got together in Week 10, they combined for 58 points. Since not much has changed for either team, I think the trend of a high-scoring affair continues on Thursday night.

Take the over.


Key Injuries (via USA Today)

New Orleans:

T Zach Strief—Groin—QST



CB Dunta Robinson—Head—QST

CB Asante Samuel—Shoulder—QST

DT Peria Jerry—Quad—QST


Fantasy Big Plays

Saints: Jimmy Graham

Anyone remember what Graham did to the Falcons in Week 10? Let me refresh your memory.

The star TE scored two touchdowns on seven receptions and 146 yards, much to the delight of Graham's fantasy owners.

He's consistently been a top-scoring, fantasy TE this season and you'd be crazy not to have this guy in your lineup come Thursday night.

Although he's coming off a game with just four receptions and 33 yards, I like his odds against Atlanta.


Falcons: Roddy White

There's always the chance that Julio Jones or Tony Gonzalez takes points away from White, but No. 84 is the most-targeted Falcons receiver, leads the team in receiving yards (1,003) and is second in receptions with 63.

What White lacks in touchdowns in comparison to his teammates is his yardage and receptions (for the most part), which can really make a difference in PPR leagues.

Call me crazy, but I still think White is Ryan's go-to guy.  


Keys to Saints Win: Flawless Performance From Drew Brees

It's no secret that the Saints' defense is terrible, which is why Brees has to submit a perfect performance on Thursday night to keep his team's playoff hopes alive.

Brees actually turned it over once against Atlanta in Week 10, and even though New Orleans pulled out a win, I don't think he can afford to throw any interceptions or fumble the football in Week 13.

The only way New Orleans leaves the Georgia Dome with a win is if Brees is flawless.


Keys to Falcons Win: Follow Jimmy Graham, Everywhere He Goes

Jimmy Graham is a nightmare of a matchup for opposing defenses, especially for the Falcons, as we saw earlier this season.

We know Brees loves his tight end, as Graham ranks second on the team in receptions and is tied with Marques Colston in receiving touchdowns with eight.

Judging by what he already did to the Falcons this season, I don't care if Graham runs to the sideline—a defender needs to be following him wherever he goes.


Prediction: Falcons 35, Saints 28

Matt Ryan and his plethora of offensive weapons are too much for the Saints' defense, who surrenders big plays in the passing game, ultimately downing New Orleans' playoff hopes.

Falcons, please.


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