Falcons vs Saints matchup preview and current betting lines
Two mediocre, non-contending teams will square off in a must-win game when the Atlanta Falcons visit the New Orleans Saints. Against all odds, both of these teams still have a shot at winning the NFC South, which speaks volumes of how bad it’s been this season.
Marcus Mariota has reportedly bailed on the Atlanta Falcons after being demoted in favor of rookie Desmond Ridder. So, there will be no pressure for the first-year guy out of Cincinnati when he makes his first career start.
Andy Dalton will continue to run ‘the show’ for Dennis Allen’s team, which is only bad news for Saints fans. He’s been terrible throughout the whole season, yet they refuse to give Jameis Winston another shot to prove his worth.
All things considered, this won’t be must-watch television by any means. But that doesn’t mean that bettors cannot find value in this divisional matchup between two teams that still have something to play for, against all odds.
Players to watch:
Desmond Ridder: It took them long enough, but the Atlanta Falcons have finally given their rookie quarterback the keys to the offense. He looked determined to be a star and thrived in the preseason, so now he’ll get the opportunity to truly show what he’s made of.
Alvin Kamara: The New Orleans Saints simply don’t stand a chance with a mediocre quarterback like Andy Dalton calling the shots. So, they’ll need to turn heavily to the running game if they want to have a slight shot at winning their division. That means feeding Alvin Kamara early and often.
Week 15 Predictions: NFL Bet of the week on Falcons vs Saints
The opening Falcons vs Saints spread has the home side favored by four points, which makes sense at first glance. The Atlanta Falcons will hand the keys to the offense to an unproven rookie who has yet to taste some NFL action.
But it’s not like Dennis Allen has done anything to prove that he’s worthy of consideration. The Saints should not be favored against any team in the league, especially considering how many leads they’ve blown throughout the campaign.
It’s not like the Falcons have been any better, but there’s still the chance that they can shock the Saints with looks they haven’t seen yet. Ridder may or may not be ready, but they have no film on him at the professional level.
Moreover, the Falcons continuously find new ways to lose games and let leads slip right through their fingers, but most of their losses have been close ones. So, getting more than a field goal when two terrible teams square off isn’t the worst of ideas.
The opening Falcons vs Saints odds have the game total sitting at just 43 points. This is a bit of a shocker, given they starred in a 27-26 shootout in the first week of the regular season. Nonetheless, that high-scoring matchup was most definitely a fluke.
For starters, two much-better quarterbacks were behind center in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the former first and second overall pick in the same draft class, so it was personal for both of them. That won’t be the case anymore.
The Falcons will favor a run-heavy offense, with Desmond Ridder getting his first taste at NFL action. He’s not going to be rushed into the foxhole and will only take what the defense gives him as he gets more comfortable throughout the game.
The Saints have been terrible in the redzone for most of the season, and that’s not going to change any time soon. They’ve scored 13, 10, 27, 0, and 16 points in their past five games, whereas the Falcons have scored 17, 15,27, 13, and 16.