The 2016 NFL season’s first two weeks are in the books, which means it’s time to look at Week 3’s picks against the spread. On Monday Night Football, we have an NFC South affair between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. Who has the best odds in this one?
Game Time: Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, La.
Betting Line: -3 NO; 54 O/U
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The Falcons and Saints have played some really good games over the past few years, and there’s nothing saying this won’t be another one. Though the Saints are 0-2 so far this year, they’ve been competitive against a couple of tough teams in the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants — losing both by a combined four points. The Falcons, meanwhile, are 1-1 after losing at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before stealing one on the road away from that Raiders team last Sunday.
So that’s how those two teams have played so far, but this game has a ton of scoring potential.
New Orleans’ defense looked pretty good against the Giants, but gave up 35 points in Week 1 to the Raiders. Odds are, this unit isn’t too much different from the one last year as they only had a couple of modest changes this offseason.
Atlanta’s defense isn’t all that improved either. They added a couple of rookies, but not much else. In the secondary, especially, this unit is week.
What that all means, is that these two high-powered offenses are going to have to do their best outscore the other one. Drew Brees has been on point this year, throwing for over 600 yards already with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Matt Ryan, incredibly, has over 700 yards in just two games, and also has five touchdowns with just one interception. The rushing attacks for both teams have been less impressive, but that won’t really matter in this one, as neither secondary has much of a prayer in slowing down the passing game.
One year ago, the Saints swept the season series. You know the Falcons are going to be looking for revenge, but that might not be too easy.
Brees, historically, has had some of his best performances on Monday Night Football. All time, he’s 12-7 with a 103.5 passer rating, 43 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions.
Ryan, on the other hand, is just 2-6 on Monday nights, with a 15:8 TD:INT ratio and passer rating of 91.9. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not anywhere near Brees’ level in the limelight.
Bets to Make: all signs point to the Saints getting their first win of the season in this one. Lay the points with New Orleans, and expect Brees to show up once again. Also, take the under; while there will be plenty of offense in this one, the games last year were actually rather low-scoring with 51 and 37 being the total points scored, respectively.
Score Prediction: Saints 28, Falcons 23