New Orleans at Atlanta
Time: NOON (CT)
Spread: ATL -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Atlanta Falcons are 1-1 following a Week 2 victory over Carolina. This week, it stays at home to host the New Orleans Saints as 2.5-point favorites according to NFL oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes. The over/under is set at 53.5 points, and the game will air at Noon (CT) on FOX.
Atlanta has been strong defensively, if inconsistent offensively. Matt Ryan has thrown two interceptions (2.8 percent rate) this season while having managed just two touchdowns, but he has aired it out for 523 total yards through just two games. His usual target Julio Jones has done almost all the work once again, as the All-Pro receiver has caught 15 of 28 targeted passes for 233 total yards and has four passes for 20-yards or more already. Austin Hooper and Calvin Ridley have contributed the lone two receiving TDs, though.
Tevin Coleman has been consistent in the backfield, averaging five yards-per-carry on his 25 attempts, though Atlanta has rushed just 50 times on the season, 25 per game thus far. De’Vondre Campbell has been a monster on the defensive end for the Falcons with 12 solo tackles, three assisted tackles, but no sacks. Brian Poole has been just as dominant with his 12 solo tackles and two sacks (for a total loss of 19-yards). Atlanta will keep that strong defensive tone as it tries to get more from its offense in what could be a higher scoring matchup given the over/under prognosticated by oddsmakers.
The New Orleans Saints are 1-1 after defeating the Cleveland Browns 21-18 last week. It lost its opener at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sophomore running back Alvin Kamara is back even stronger in year two. Kamara has rushed 21 times for 75 yards while adding another 15 receptions (on 18 targeted passes) for 165 receiving yards with a receiving TD. He’s scored two via the rush, accounting for three of the Saints’ end zone trips already after winning offensive rookie of the year a season ago.
Drew Brees has been outstanding as usual. The veteran is completing 81.3 percent of his passes and averaging 322.5 yards per game, while not yet having thrown a single pick. He has incurred four sacks, but obviously, a rushed and inaccurate pass would be worse than the 37-yards he has lost on those four plays. Brees, obviously, is a cerebral quarterback who calculates his risks, and the Saints have been successful for that reason.
New Orleans will continue to milk Kamara and No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas through Brees’ talents. Thomas has 28 of 30 targeted passes received, for a total gain of 269 yards and a team-high three receiving TDs. He has also accounted for 13 first downs. The Saints are on the right track, even if it did lose its opener against what looks to be a pretty tough Tampa Bay team, at any rate.