The New Orleans Saints are 5-1 both straight up and against the spread in their last six games against their rivals from the NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons. The first-place Saints are in Atlanta Thursday night to take on the last-place Falcons, a team that has failed to cover in seven straight as an underdog.
Point spread: Saints opened as six-point favorites; the total was 52.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 32.3-15.4 Saints
Why the Saints can cover the spread
New Orleans ranks second in total offense and fourth in total defense. The Saints are also 4-0 SU and ATS on the fast track at the Superdome, averaging 33 points per game. This game will be played at the Georgia Dome, but the principle is the same; the New Orleans offense is very tough to stop on the indoor turf.
The Saints are also involved in a three-dog fight for a top-two seed in the NFC playoffs, so they can't afford a slip-up if they want wild card weekend off.
They are also 5-1 ATS in six games against Atlanta, a team that is 0-7 SU and ATS while getting points from Vegas.
Why the Falcons can cover the spread
Atlanta, who just got wide receiver Roddy White back from injury, can move the ball through the air with quarterback Matt Ryan. The Falcons have a chance to stay in a shootout with the Saints, who are hurting a bit in the secondary.
Also, while Atlanta has lost five of the last six meetings with New Orleans, four of those losses came by less than seven points. They face a Saints team that struggled on the road, losing five of seven away from the Superdome, so a cover is possible here.
The Odds Shark NFL computer is predicting the Saints to win and cover in a game that stays under its total, and it's hard to argue with that. Atlanta has been held to 13 points or less in three straight games and only had 13 after three quarters last Sunday in Tampa.
Give the points and take New Orleans.
- Saints are 5-1 ATS past six games vs. Falcons
- Falcons just 2-5 SU past seven at home to Saints
- Saints just 2-5 SU past seven road games
- Falcons are 0-7 SU and ATS past seven games as underdog