NFL Week 1 Picks: Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, 9/8/13, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: New Orleans -3
Current Betting Line: New Orleans -3
Opening Total: 53
Current Total: 54.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Atlanta went 13-3 and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs last year, but it ended up blowing a 17-point lead in a 28-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the conference title game. The Falcons will be led by quarterback Matt Ryan offensively, as he finished with career highs of 32 touchdowns and 4,719 passing yards, but he may be without the services of No. 1 wide receiver Roddy White, who is dealing with an ankle injury. Atlanta is 5-6 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 7-4 in that situation.
The Falcons earned a split in their two regular-season meetings with the Saints in 2012, but suffered a 31-27 loss as one-point road favorites on Nov. 11. Atlanta is 2-10 when taking on New Orleans head coach Sean Payton, which is important to consider when making your pro football picks, as he wasn’t on the sidelines last year due to Bountygate. Defensively, the team has allowed Saints quarterback Drew Brees to throw for 26 touchdowns and get picked off just 11 times in those 12 contests.
New Orleans is set to open up a season against Atlanta for the seventh time in series history, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds page. The Saints are definitely excited that Payton is back on the sidelines, as they still possess one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL. “It’s important,” commented Saints offensive linemen Zach Strief. The franchise is looking for a bounce-back season after going 7-9 and having its run of three straight playoff appearances end last year. New Orleans is 13-4 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 11-6 in that situation.
The Saints will need to improve in a big way on the defensive end, as they allowed a league-record 7,042 total yards in 2012. New Orleans is hoping former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can turn the unit around, but he’ll be missing linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who has been placed on injured reserve.
Sports bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 9-4 ATS mark in their last 13 seasons openers.
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