The rivalry between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints has been a roller-coaster of emotion. The Saints have won three straight, but prior to that, the Falcons won three in row, the Saints won two in a row, and the Falcons won two in a row. Atlanta is 11-19 in the past 30 matchups, but it’s been pretty even overall dating back to 2012.
This week, the Falcons are a 14-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook. Dating back to 1984, this is the eighth time either team has been a double digit underdog, and this is also the biggest spread in that time. The Falcons are 1-5 straight up against the Saints as a double digit underdog, but 4-2 against the spread.
The Saints are rolling in the NFC South, sitting at 7-1 and two games up on Carolina. The Falcons are 1-7 and potentially staring at a top five draft pick if they don’t turn things around. It suggests this could be a laugher, and a sizable majority of the public betting is expecting that.
Not me! The Falcons are coming off a bye week and with much of the free world betting against them, this strikes me as a chance to buy some value. I don’t expect the Falcons to win this game, but people should not be surprised if Atlanta gives the Saints a scare. They’re getting Matt Ryan back from injury, and this is the Falcons Super Bowl. They aren’t going to the playoffs, but getting a win over New Orleans at the Superdome would be a modest feather in their cap in an otherwise lost season.
It’s entirely possible this goes south and the Saints crush the Falcons. It would not surprise me at all, but I feel like there is a chance for at least a betting upset. The Falcons are playing atrocious football, but they’re not an entirely awful team. They rank 15th in net yards per play, which is a helpful statistic sports bettors consider to try and remove some of the randomness of football. Randomness can make or break the game, but it’s helpful for consideration.
Maybe I look back on this shaking my head in disgust, but I’ll go with my gut and pick the Falcons to cover a two touchdown spread.
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