Atlanta at New Orleans
Time: 7:20 PM CT, NBC
Spread: NO -13
Odds c/o 5dimes
The 9-1 New Orleans Saints have not lost since opening week. It will host the Atlanta Falcons in the third of three games on Thanksgiving day, with the odds set 13-points in favor of the Saints according to NFL Oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The over/under is set high at 59.5 points, a reflection of the Saints’ top-scoring offense and also the weakness of Atlanta’s defensive unit.
The game will air at 7:20 PM (CST) on NBC.
Drew Brees and dual-threat running back Alvin Kamara head the Saints’ top-NFL offensive attack. Brees has thrown for 2,964 yards at a 76.9 percent clip while averaging 8.9 yards-per-attempt. He averages 289.3 yards per game with 25 TDs on the season and just one interception. He has also only been sacked nine times (less than 1.0 per game) for a total loss of 71 yards.
Brees’ has an elite passer rating of 126.9. Kamara, meanwhile, has done it all for the Saints as a running back and wide receiver. He leads the team in rushing yardage with 617 and 11 TDs via the rush, while also being the No. 2 receiver with 56 of 72 targeted passes caught for 510 yards and four receiving TDs. Michael Thomas is the top receiver with over 1,000 yards and eight TDs, and a team-high 54 first downs.
The Saints have six others with 100 yards or more on the season, and it has 25 reception TDs to go with 19 via the rush. It is a balanced and potent offensive attack, and the Falcons will have its hands full with the multitude of ways Brees can punish a defense. Kamara won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and he has only built on his rookie success.
The Atlanta Falcons are just 4-6 on the season and 1-3 on the road this year. It will have a tough time slowing New Orleans, as Atlanta surrenders 27.6 points per game while scoring 26.3 itself. The pass attack has been potent, but the Falcons have a horrible rush offense that averages just 88.8 yards per game.
Matt Ryan already has 3,300-plus yards on the season with 22 TD passes and four interceptions (1.0% interception ratio) with a strong passer rating of 111.5. Julio Jones does the heavy lifting of the receiving core, with the All-Pro wideout having amassed 1,158 yards and three TDs on the season.
Calvin Ridley leads the team in reception TDs (seven), but lingers far behind Jones in yardage with 532 receiving yards on the season. Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper both have better than 400 yards and three TDs apiece. The issue for the Falcons mainly has been getting so little from its backfield.
Running back Tevin Coleman is consistent, but not great, averaging 4.4 yards-per-carry on his team-high 114 attempts. Ito Smith averages just 3.4 yards-per-carry, and though Ryan has had some success in his 20 attempts, he has rushed just those two times per game for an average of 4.1 yards-per-carry.
Overall, Atlanta’s defense (or lack thereof) will likely spell its demise, not to mention that the Falcons have not been a good team on the road this season. 81 percent of voters on ESPN is predicting a Saints’ victory, which accords with NFL oddsmakers.