New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons: NFL Week 1 Betting Odds and Picks

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, 9/4/14, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  New Orleans -3
Current Betting Line:  New Orleans -3
Opening Total:  51.5
Current Total:  51.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The home team has covered the number in the last five meetings in this series
The home team has covered the number in the last five meetings in this series

New Orleans has compiled a 48-16 record in Sean Payton’s last four seasons on the sidelines, which is important to consider when making your Week 1 NFL betting picks, especially since the franchise welcomes back a majority of its key contributors from last year.  The Saints have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees, who led the NFC with a 68.6 completion percentage, 5,162 passing yards and 39 touchdowns in 2013.  New Orleans is 1-2 ATS as road favorites of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Saints aren’t worried about Brees heading into the 2014 campaign despite the fact that he had fewer reps this preseason due to a injury, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NFL betting lines.  In two meetings against Atlanta a year ago, the New Orleans signal-caller threw for 635 yards and four scores in a pair of victories.  There’s no doubt that the biggest weapon in the passing game is tight end Jimmy Graham , who had 86 catches for 1,215 yards and a career-high 16 touchdowns a year ago.

Atlanta has opened a season against New Orleans seven times in the history of the series—proving victorious in six of those contests.  The Falcons hope to be much improved on the defensive side of the ball, as they ranked near the bottom in allowing an average of 27.7 points and 379.4 yards per game last year.  It’s important to point out that Sunday’s opponent averaged just 16.7 points in dropping five of its final six road games in 2013.  Atlanta is 1-1 SUATS as home underdogs of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan looks to put last year’s mediocre performance behind him, as he threw a career-worst 17 interceptions and was sacked a career-high 44 times.  Atlanta has plenty of weapons at his disposal as long as wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White can maintain their health.  Running back Steven Jackson is also an important player to watch, but he’s been battling a hamstring injury since the start of training camp.

Sports bettors will likely back the Falcons due to the home team covering the number in five consecutive meetings.

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