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Falcons vs Saints Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2024

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of the NFL season, but here we are in week 18. It’s time for an NFC South rivalry matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints with tremendous stakes, as the division crown is still up for grabs.

Before the season, the NFC South odds showed that these two teams were the most likely to win the division, and their hopes are both still alive- at least until Sunday when the loser will be officially eliminated.

These two teams need the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose to have a chance to clinch, but this game is going on at the same time as Tampa’s, so everyone will be fighting for their lives. Let’s get into the odds and predictions for this potentially division-sealing matchup.

Falcons vs Saints Odds

NFL odds used for this Atlanta vs New Orleans preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Jan. 2, at 12:45 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Saints (-170) • Falcons (+142)
  • Spread: Saints -3 (-115) • Falcons +3 (-105)
  • Total Points: Over 42 (-110) • Under 42 (-110)
  • Implied Score: Saints 22.5, Falcons 19.5

Falcons vs Saints Predictions

Score Pick: Saints 19, Falcons 14

The Saints might be a game ahead in the standings, but the Falcons won the last time these two rivals met. They secured a key 24-15 win, which is currently keeping them alive in this fascinating, even if slightly inept NFC South division race.

Of course, that game was in Atlanta, while this one is in New Orleans. The Saints have been about the same team at home and on the road, but the Falcons are a disaster away from their home turf.

At home, they’ve pulled off solid results like a drubbing of the Colts, a comeback against the Packers, and a win over the Texans. However, they’ve lost to the Panthers and Cardinals on the road.

The Saints are also coming off their biggest win of the season- a convincing road win over the Bucs in a game that would have sealed the division for Tampa had they won. Meanwhile, the Falcons just got absolutely wrecked by the Bears at Soldier Field.

You could call this buying high and selling low all at once, but it’s week 18; the way these teams are playing is effectively who they are at this point. The Saints are hot at the right time, while the Falcons are spiraling; give me New Orleans to defend their home field and keep their heads above water in the playoff hunt.

Falcons vs Saints Best Bets & Props

Under 42 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

In a game that could go either way but will be intensely competitive, our NFL bet of the day will be the under for the key number of 42.

The Falcons’ defense has fallen off in many ways, but they can still stop the run well; EPA, DVOA, and success rate all consider their run defense to be between above-average and league-best. That will limit much of what the Saints can accomplish, as the passing offense has shown that it can struggle regardless of who’s on the other side.

Conversely, the Falcons’ road woes have been largely offensive. Their quarterbacks have put up a road passer rating of 70.8, compared to 86.7 at home. Meanwhile, their backs run for just 3.9 yards per carry in away games, compared to 4.4 in Atlanta; in a raucous New Orleans Superdome, expect them to struggle once more.

Saints -3 (-115)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Much like the under, this bet has a lot to do with the inability to leverage talented offensive weapons we’ve seen from the Falcons all year. Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts are among the most talented players at their respective positions. Still, between the failures of the team’s rotating quarterbacks and head coach Arthur Smith, they have all been far from reaching their potential level of production.

On the road, against a Saints defense that ranks inside the top 10 in most pass metrics, whoever plays quarterback for Atlanta this week- whether it’s Taylor Heinicke or Desmond Ridder- should have a tough time. New Orleans just clamped Tampa’s much stronger passing game and should do enough to win at home and stay alive in the NFC South battle.

Under 4.5 Touchdowns Scored (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

More than game script and pace, or even the general offensive issues with both teams, this one comes down to the specific red zone matchups, as both teams are among the league’s best at preventing red zone touchdowns.

Just 52.27% of possessions inside the Saints’ 20 this year have ended up as touchdowns, good for 12th in the NFL, while that figure is all the way down at a stellar 42.55% for the Falcons, placing them third in the league even after getting victimized by a very dynamic Bears offense.

Compared to the New Orleans and Atlanta offenses, which rank 18th and 27th respectively in red zone efficiency, these defenses are at a major advantage.

Falcons vs Saints Same Game Parlay

Falcons vs Saints SGP (+100)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

  • Falcons Under 21.5 Points (-175)
  • Saints Over 14.5 Points (-550)
  • Saints (-170)

As player props are not yet available for our same game parlay, we’ll build off some very similar concepts to what we’ve already discussed for the individual plays above.

This should be a pretty low-scoring affair, so we’ll set a low bar for the Saints’ team total while staying somewhat safe with an Atlanta offense that has struggled tremendously on the road. Finally, we’ll back the Saints to win much as we did for our spread pick, but we’ll stay a little safer by switching over to the moneyline.

Author

William Schwartz

As a former athlete and lifetime fan, sports have always been a huge part of my life. I've written about them for almost as long as I've been watching and playing them, from a blog I wrote with a friend in middle school, to journalism classes at the University of Michigan, to today. I hope to bring you entertaining coverage, strong analysis, and profitable betting picks on any and all sports, whether it's MLB baseball, college football, European soccer, or anything in between.

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