Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Monday, 12/26/11, 8:30 PM EDT, TV:¬† ESPN
Opening Point Spread:¬† New Orleans -6.5
Current Betting Line:¬† New Orleans -6.5
Opening Total:¬† 53
Current Total:¬† 52
Atlanta is definitely seeking revenge from its 26-23 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints as one-point home favorites inside the Georgia Dome on Nov. 13.¬† The Falcons have won four of their last five games, while the ‚Äėunder‚Äô is 3-2 in those contests.¬† The entire locker room is enthused about the rest of the year after registering a dominating 41-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week on Thursday night.¬† ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs what we need,‚ÄĚ stated Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.¬† He has been sensational over the last two weeks, throwing seven touchdowns and no interceptions.¬† Atlanta is 1-1 ATS when playing on Monday Night Football the last two-plus years.
The Falcons passing attack should definitely be able to move the ball against a Saints defense that has grabbed just eight interceptions.¬† Ryan needs just 302 passing yards over the final two weeks to become the second Falcons player with 4,000 yards in a season.¬† Do everything back Darren Sproles figures to play a prominent role in deciding who will win this game, being the only NFL player with two-plus rushing touchdowns, two-plus receiving touchdowns and a return touchdown.¬† On the other side of the ball, Atlanta possesses the fourth-best defense against the run and will be challenged by a Saints attack that ranks eighth in the league in rushing yards.
New Orleans has some work to do in order to pick up the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, as the San Francisco 49ers are currently occupying the spot.¬† ‚ÄúThe sky‚Äôs the limit and that‚Äôs where we‚Äôre trying to get to,‚ÄĚ stated Saints safety Roman Harper.¬† The Saints are one of the hottest teams in football, winning their last six games, including a two-game sweep of their recent road trip against the Tennessee Titans (22-17) and Minnesota Vikings (42-20).¬† New Orleans is 9-4 ATS when playing a winning team during the second half of the season the last two-plus seasons.
The Saints would clinch the NFC South division title with a victory in prime-time tonight and quarterback Drew Brees figures to play a large role in deciding the contest.¬† Brees is coming off a spectacular 412-yard and five-touchdown performance, leaving him just 305 passing yards away from Dan Marino‚Äôs single-season passing yards record.¬† New Orleans ranks first in the NFL in total offense, while checking in tied for 24th in defense.¬† It‚Äôs important to note that the franchise is 9-3 against Atlanta with Brees under center.
Bettors will likely back the Falcons due to their 8-2 ATS mark in December, while the favorite is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.
Atlanta Falcons +6.5