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NFL Week 18 Betting Prediction: Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints 1/7/2024

Atlanta Falcons (7-9) vs. New Orleans Saints (8-8)

In the closing week of the NFL regular season, the Atlanta Falcons visit the New Orleans Saints in a crucial NFC South matchup. Taking place on Sunday at the Caesars Superdome, this game is a pivotal moment for both teams, each seeking to finish their season on a high note. With the Falcons at 7-9 and the Saints slightly ahead at 8-8, the stakes are high, and football winning picks are in high demand as fans and bettors alike assess the odds and possibilities of this divisional rivalry.

Atlanta’s offense this season has been both exciting and unpredictable. Led by Bijan Robinson’s 948 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns averaging 4.7 yards per attempt, Bijan Robinson has provided Atlanta with much-needed rushing potential. Drake London has also been instrumental in providing offensive versatility with 65 receptions for 864 yards with 2 touchdowns to date – further showing their offensive versatility.

On the other side of things, the Saints have displayed a more balanced offensive approach. Their veteran quarterback Derek Carr has completed 67% of his passes for 3,614 yards and 21 touchdowns; their rushing attack led by Jamaal Williams has not been as potent gaining only 280 yards on 92 attempts; Chris Olave has stood out as an impressive wide receiver by amassing 1,067 receiving yards with 4 touchdowns on 84 receptions; this stretch-the-field player made crucial catches that helped strengthen their passing game significantly.


Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints Game Info

When Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 1:00 PM ET
Where Caesars Superdome
Stream NFL Game Pass


Desmond Ridder QB vs. Derek Carr QB

Desmond Ridder has faced his fair share of growing pains in his first NFL season. Playing behind a questionable offensive line, he has constantly faced pressure, being sacked 31 times. This pressure has often rushed his process and forced errant throws, reflected in his touchdown to interception ratio of just 10-to-11. However, signs of development have emerged recently. Over the past two games, Ridder has posted a 64% completion percentage while tossing 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He has begun moving more decisively in the pocket, finding open receivers in stride rather than forcing passes. Ridder’s legs have been an asset as well, as he has 231 rushing yards on the season, some of which have come on scrambles when plays break down. 

Derek Carr comes into this game looking to close the year strong and build momentum going into the offseason. Despite a completion rate of nearly 68% that ranks among the NFL’s best, he has struggled with inconsistent production. His 3614 yards looks solid on paper but his dip to 6.9 yards per attempt indicates issues moving the ball down the field efficiently at times. Whether due to spotty protection up front or inconsistent receiver play, explosive passing plays have not come steadily in this Saints offense. For them to excel, precision short and intermediate throws need to set up manageable third downs. 


NFL Odds/Point Spread: New Orleans Saints -173, Total Odds: 42.5

The odds favor the Saints, but the close spread suggests a competitive game. The total points set at 42.5 indicate expectations of a moderately scoring affair, considering both teams’ offensive and defensive capabilities.


Atlanta Falcons Betting Trends

The Falcons against the spread slide of late is concerning. At 4-11 ATS over their past 15 games, Atlanta has struggled to cover numbers. However, the series history with New Orleans is a different story. The Falcons are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head matchups, consistently playing the Saints tough. With the matchup specifics in their favor, Atlanta might be able to overcome broader trends and hang around against this spread.


New Orleans Saints Betting Trends

Home field has meant little for the Saints lately. New Orleans is just 3-5 straight up at Caesars Superdome this season, far from a dominant home team. The total has gone under in 7 of their last 9 in New Orleans as well, indicative of offensive struggles. With Atlanta finding offensive success against the Saints of late, going over this low total seems possible.


Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints 1/7/24 Betting Picks

The matchup seems to tilt in favor of the Saints, considering their balanced offense and strong home record. However, the Falcons’ recent ATS record against New Orleans cannot be overlooked. For bettors looking at top sportsbooks, the Saints might be the safer pick, but the Falcons could present value as underdogs.

Regarding the over/under, the trend of both teams suggests a leaning towards the under. Prop bets on key players like Carr and Olave could be interesting, considering their consistent performances this season.


Free Pick and Prediction: New Orleans Saints 24, Atlanta Falcons 17

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