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Week 16: Saints vs. Falcons Monday Night Betting Prediction

Week 16: New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons Betting Prediction

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Week 16: Saints at Falcons Preview & Pick

Date: Monday, December 27, 2010
Venue: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Broadcast: ESPN
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Betting Lines from BetUs.com
Money Line: Saints +115, Falcons -135
Spread: Falcons -2.5
Over/Under: 48.5
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New Orleans Saints (10-4)

The defending champs’ momentum finally slowed last week. After rattling off six straight victories, the Saints finally lost on the road in a spirited affair against the Baltimore Ravens. In hindsight, five of the Saints’ six victims during their winning streak were Carolina, Seattle, Dallas, Cincinnati and St. Louis, none of which has more than six victories. Maybe the Saints got caught with their pants down against their first legit opponent in a while.

The good news for the Saints is that they passed the ball well on Baltimore. Drew Brees set a career high with his 19th interception of the year but was pretty effective overall, throwing for 267 yards and three scores. The Saints‘ fourth-ranked pass defense also did a decent job keeping Joe Flacco in check.

However, New Orleans had a tone of trouble running the ball and stopping the run last week. They tallied just 27 yards on the ground as a team and Baltimore’s Ray Rice gashed them for 150-plus yards. Steven Jackson did the same the week prior, so New Orleans has to be very worried about stopping Michael Turner this week.

Atlanta Falcons (12-2)

After weeks of scraping out cardiac-kid victories, the Falcons outscored Carolina and Seattle 65-28 over the last two games. The Falcons aren’t a perfect football team but they’re 12-2 because they do everything pretty well – including cover the spread, which they’ve done in six straight games. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Matt Ryan doesn’t post eye-popping stats every game – he has just one 300-yard effort this year – but he’s an efficient game manager who doesn’t make many mistakes and finds the end zone when it counts. Ryan has 25 touchdown passes and nine picks this season. He’s clicked with Roddy White week-in, week out and has done a nice job using Tony Gonzalez as a safety valve. A healthy Michael Turner has done wonders for Atlanta; he has 1,256 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns so far this year.

Atlanta’s defense surrenders a decent amount of yardage, especially against the pass, but it doesn’t often break. Atlanta’s 18.6 points allowed per game is the seventh-lowest mark in the league.

The pick:

The Saints are a dangerous opponent, tempting to pick, but perhaps no stat will give bettors more pause than Atlanta’s home record under Matt Ryan. The Falcons are 19-1 at the Georgia Dome when Matty Ice starts and have won 15 straight with him there. A 2.5-point spread makes this game a borderline pick ’em. Can we thus go against the Falcons given their dominance?

I do expect the Saints to move the ball. Drew Brees is a Monday-night dynamo. In his last four Monday nighters, all victories, Brees has completed 75.8 per  cent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and just one interception.

This should therefore be a close game – maybe decided by a field goal – but I think the Saints’ recent woes stopping the run will make the difference. I like Atlanta to edge New Orleans in what could be the best Monday nighter of the year.

Saints vs Falcons prediction: Falcons 27, Saints 24

Money Line: Falcons -135
Spread: Falcons -2.5
Over/Under: OVER 48.5

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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