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NFL Odds: New Orleans Saints Are Small Favorites Over Atlanta Falcons


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NFL Odds: New Orleans Saints Are Small Favorites Over Atlanta Falcons

By

Jimmy Boyd

(Analyst) on September 23, 2010

The Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints are all set to do battle Sunday in a Week 3 NFC South division showdown. Last week, the Falcons earned their first win of the season with a 41-7 blowout over the Arizona Cardinals. A day later, the defending Super Bowl champs improved to 2-0 with a hard-fought 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.

The Falcons know the road to the NFC South title goes through New Orleans, and that’s one place where they have struggled in recent years. The Saints have won four straight at home in this series and seven of the last eight overall. NFL odds makers expect New Orleans to continue its dominance over its division rival, listing the Saints as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 49.5.

We know about Drew Brees and the offense, which was the best in the NFL last season. In my mind, it’s only a matter of time before this unit gets it going like it did last year. While I’m sure I’ll write a lot about the offense this season, I have made the defense the focal point this week.

For New Orleans to beat the Falcons Sunday, the defense must either tighten the screws or continue to come up with takeaways. Against the 49ers, the Saints allowed 417 yards of offense. However, they were able to make up for it by forcing four turnovers. The Saints were one of the most opportunistic defenses in the league in 2009, but can they continue to rely on takeaways?

At some point the New Orleans defense will have to make a stand, without depending on a turnover to bail it out. The defense especially has some work to do against the run. The 49ers racked up 142 yards on 5.5 yards per carry with Frank Gore getting 112 of those on 5.6 yards per tote. New Orleans will face another tall task this week with star running back Michael Turner coming to town.

Turner ran for 75 yards on 8.3 yards per carry in last week’s win over the Cardinals. The Falcons may have found another star to team with Turner as well. Jason Snelling rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 5.4 yards per tote in relief of the Pro Bowler. Turner left last week’s game with a groin injury, but he is expected to be ready to go Sunday.

Atlanta came alive offensively in Week 2, scoring 41 points and racking up 444 yards of offense. However, the Falcons would prefer not to get into a shootout with New Orleans, which has won the last three meetings while scoring at least 26 points in each of those games.

The Falcons know their defense must be up to the task, and last week it certainly was. The Falcons held the Cardinals to only 267 yards and forced three turnovers. More impressively, Atlanta held Arizona to 0 of 9 on third and fourth down conversion attempts.

The Falcons know they’ll have to slow down New Orleans’ passing game in order to pull off the upset Sunday. They played great ball-hawking defense last week, but Drew Brees is a much larger fish to fry than Derek Anderson.

Take the points you want need them! :D

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NFL Odds: New Orleans Saints Are Small Favorites Over Atlanta Falcons

By

Jimmy Boyd

(Analyst) on September 23, 2010

The Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints are all set to do battle Sunday in a Week 3 NFC South division showdown. Last week, the Falcons earned their first win of the season with a 41-7 blowout over the Arizona Cardinals. A day later, the defending Super Bowl champs improved to 2-0 with a hard-fought 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.

The Falcons know the road to the NFC South title goes through New Orleans, and that’s one place where they have struggled in recent years. The Saints have won four straight at home in this series and seven of the last eight overall. NFL odds makers expect New Orleans to continue its dominance over its division rival, listing the Saints as a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 49.5.

We know about Drew Brees and the offense, which was the best in the NFL last season. In my mind, it’s only a matter of time before this unit gets it going like it did last year. While I’m sure I’ll write a lot about the offense this season, I have made the defense the focal point this week.

For New Orleans to beat the Falcons Sunday, the defense must either tighten the screws or continue to come up with takeaways. Against the 49ers, the Saints allowed 417 yards of offense. However, they were able to make up for it by forcing four turnovers. The Saints were one of the most opportunistic defenses in the league in 2009, but can they continue to rely on takeaways?

At some point the New Orleans defense will have to make a stand, without depending on a turnover to bail it out. The defense especially has some work to do against the run. The 49ers racked up 142 yards on 5.5 yards per carry with Frank Gore getting 112 of those on 5.6 yards per tote. New Orleans will face another tall task this week with star running back Michael Turner coming to town.

Turner ran for 75 yards on 8.3 yards per carry in last week’s win over the Cardinals. The Falcons may have found another star to team with Turner as well. Jason Snelling rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 5.4 yards per tote in relief of the Pro Bowler. Turner left last week’s game with a groin injury, but he is expected to be ready to go Sunday.

Atlanta came alive offensively in Week 2, scoring 41 points and racking up 444 yards of offense. However, the Falcons would prefer not to get into a shootout with New Orleans, which has won the last three meetings while scoring at least 26 points in each of those games.

The Falcons know their defense must be up to the task, and last week it certainly was. The Falcons held the Cardinals to only 267 yards and forced three turnovers. More impressively, Atlanta held Arizona to 0 of 9 on third and fourth down conversion attempts.

The Falcons know they’ll have to slow down New Orleans’ passing game in order to pull off the upset Sunday. They played great ball-hawking defense last week, but Drew Brees is a much larger fish to fry than Derek Anderson.

Take the points you want need them! :D

I'd take the points because I think it'll be a FG at the end type game I'd take the over because 49 pts seems low.

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I'd take the points because I think it'll be a FG at the end type game I'd take the over because 49 pts seems low.

NFL Picks: Falcons Smell Upset Down in New Orleans

By

Jack Jones

(Analyst) on September 23, 2010

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ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Ovie Mughelli #34 of the Atlanta Falcons enters the field to face the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This Sunday the New Orleans Saints will host the Atlanta Falcons in an important NFC South showdown. The Saints haven’t exactly looked like the same team that started the season 13-0 and went on to win the Super Bowl last season, but are still 2-0 after a wild 25-22 win at San Francisco on Monday Night Football. The Falcons evened up their record at 1-1 with an impressive 41-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals at home. If you are thinking about betting on the game this weekend, the current NFL lines have the Saints favored by 4-points over the Falcons at home.

Atlanta (1-1): After managing just three field goals in the season opening loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Falcons offense came alive in week 2 against the Cardinals. The Falcons jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead, allowing them to cruise to an easy victory.

While the Falcons got a big day from quarterback Matt Ryan, who threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns, it was third string running back Jason Snelling that stole the spotlight. After both Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood were knocked out of the game with injuries, Snelling scored three touchdowns in the win, as he piled on 129 yards rushing and 57 yards receiving. While it appears that the Falcons will get back Turner this weekend against the Saints, it has to be nice to know they have a very capable backup that can step in and get the job done.

New Orleans (2-0): For the second straight week the Saints drove the ball in for a touchdown on their first offensive possession, but for the second straight week the offense struggled to get things going after their opening drive. Just like week 1, the Saints managed just one other touchdown the rest of the game. With the offense unable to score touchdowns, place kicker Garrett Hartley came through with three huge field goals in the fourth quarter, including the game winner as time expired.

The Saints defense was torched for 417 yards of total offense, but came up with four huge turnovers that ended up being the deciding factor in the game, as three of the four turnovers came inside the New Orleans’ 30 yard line and the other came on a muffed punt that allowed the Saints to take an eight-point lead with just over 2 minutes to go. While New Orleans escaped with a win, there is no question they were outplayed on both sides of the ball, and will have to play much better if they want to beat the Falcons this weekend.

Looking at the Odds: I believe the right bet is on the Falcons at +4 in this game, as I have not been impressed with the way the Saints have played in the first two games of the season. The Falcons have committed just two turnovers all season, and I think they will do a much better job of holding onto the football than the 49ers did last week. I also think the Falcons defense is very underrated and will give the struggling New Orleans offense problems throughout the game. My final score prediction is Atlanta 24, New Orleans 20.

If you are looking to make some money this NFL season, check out what our expert NFL handicappers have to offer in their weekly NFL picks.

There you have it! :D

It's a lock.

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