NFL Week 10 Picks: New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, 11/13/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  New Orleans -1
Current Betting Line:  New Orleans PK
Opening Total:  51.5
Current Total:  50
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Cowboys Saints NFL Preview
The New Orleans Saints will look to extend their half-time lead in the division Sunday

New Orleans has alternated wins and losses over the past five games, coming off a 27-16 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as nine-point home favorites.  The Saints are back on the road again, playing their fifth road game since the beginning of October.    “Coach Payton kind of hit that note this week,” commented Saints running back Chris Ivory.  “It’s November, and it will say a lot about this team and where we stand.”  The team currently sits atop the NFC South division, leading Sunday’s opponent by a half game.  New Orleans is 5-10 ATS versus division opponents the last two-plus years.

The Saints possess a dynamic offense that leads the NFL in total offense and checks in at No. 2 in terms of scoring.  New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is enjoying another fantastic year, throwing a touchdown pass in 36 consecutive games.  He certainly knows how to pilot this franchise during this month on the calendar, putting a nine-game win streak on the line during November Sunday inside the Georgia Dome.  The rushing attack has a trio of capable backs, led by Darren Sproles, who has gained 347 yards on the ground.

Atlanta has won and covered three consecutive games, while the ‘under’ has cashed in five of six.  The Falcons hold a 45-38 all-time edge in this series, but are just 2-4 under the direction of current head coach Mike Smith.  Both teams won on each other’s home field a year ago, with Atlanta dropping a 17-14 contest as two-point home favorites on Dec. 27, 2010, being held to just 215 yards.  After the midpoint of the season, quarterback Matt Ryan is on pace for his second 4,000-yard season.  Atlanta is 7-3 ATS in November the past two-plus years.

The Falcons have some major weapons on the outside with rookie wide receiver Julio Jones and veteran Roddy White, but running back Michael Turner continues to be the key player.  He has scored 46 touchdowns in 51 games since signing with the franchise before the 2008 season, while helping the offense average 30.0 points per game in its five wins this year.  Jones enjoyed his biggest game of his rookie campaign, catching three passes for 131 yards in last week’s 31-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts as seven-point road favorites.

Bettors will likely back the Saints due to their 8-3 ATS mark versus winning teams, while the Falcons are 10-21-1 ATS when hosting a winning road team.

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