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Atlanta at New Orleans

October 21, 2007
img1:00 PM Eastern
Premium Pick
4 units on Atlanta +8 (-110) (risk 4 to return 4)

What? Back the Falcons? Yes, we tore them up in our writeup for last Monday's game. Everyone that watched them at home on Monday Night is salivating at an opportunity to play against this team. Outside of a long TD run in the first quarter the Atlanta offense did nothing in the game, and the Giants went on to an easy road win. But often when a team is at it's low (like Atlanta), and you can't seem to find a single reason to back them, we get the most value and a great bet. In regards to Monday Night, let's remember that the Giants are healthy and a vastly improved team. Their losses this year have come to the Cowboys and Packers - the only one-loss teams in the NFC. The Giants were very banged up for both those games, and since have handled everyone. As bad as you may think this Atlanta team is, they played within 7 points of Tennessee on the road and within 6 of Jacksonville, also on the road. Are the Saints better than these teams? We certainly don't think so. The Saints bandwagon, with their convincing upset win over Seattle last week, is again getting full. The fact is this team is playing much differently this season vs. last. A team that has been beaten on the road by 31 and 17 points, and then at home by 17, doesn't deserve to be favored by 9 against anyone! Drew Brees is having a bad season. He has thrown nine INTs already after throwing 11 all of last year. His ratio has gone from one INT every 51 throws to one in every 23. One huge difference is the Saints inability to run the ball. It has caused them to put the ball in the air 43 times per game vs. 34 last year. WithDeuce McCallister out, Reggie Bush is carrying the ball, but at 3.5 yards per carry. So, the Saints pass more and Brees has lost his comfort in the pocket. Atlanta has some issues on their offensive line, but now that unit has a game under their belt and unlike the Giants, the Saints aren't getting pressure on the QB (they have recorded just six sacks on the season). The Saints have scored 79 points all season (15.8 per game). That isn't the type of offense that should be a 9 point favorite. It is, in fact, the first time in NFL history, as far as we can assertain, that has been favored by as many as 9 points while scoring under 17 ppg. The media is rife with negatives regarding the Falcons, but this team has been competitive. Byron leftwich will get the nod to run the Falcon offense, and we consider him an upgrade from Harrington. We will ride the generous overlay on the Falcons here. 

Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints
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