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Falcons vs. Saints Expert Pick and Prediction – January 7, 2024

Falcons vs. Saints Expert Pick and Prediction – January 7, 2024

FALCONS VS. SAINTS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – January 7, 2024 — There’s no guesswork here for Atlanta: the Falcons have to beat New Orleans to have any shot at the playoffs. Atlanta’s only chance at the postseason is through the NFC South title, and the Falcons sit one game back of both the Saints and Tampa Bay. The Falcons need the Buccaneers to lose to the last-place Panthers on top of winning themselves to claim the title and a playoff matchup with either Dallas or Philadelphia.

The Saints have multiple paths to the postseason, but none of them include a loss to the Falcons. New Orleans wins the division if it wins and the Buccaneers lose to Carolina, but the Saints can still squeeze into the postseason with a Tampa Bay win if Seattle and Green Bay both lose.

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However, New Orleans has a major success allergy: the Saints tend to follow up wins with failing to cover the next week. For the year, New Orleans has gone 1-5-1 ATS the week after a victory, and the Saints are just 3-10-1 ATS after a win under Dennis Allen.

On the other side of the coin, Atlanta’s been fading down the stretch, losing three of its past four. But the Falcons beat up the Saints on the ground in Week 12, and they’ve had the most success against bad run defenses. If Atlanta can dominate in the trenches again, it has a big edge.

The Odds

Matchup Open Spread Points Moneyline
Atlanta Falcons

(7-9 SU, 5-11 ATS)

O41.5 +3 O42.5 +140
New Orleans Saints 

(8-8 SU, 5-10-1 ATS) 

-4 -3 U42.5 -165


When: Sunday, January 7 at 1 p.m. EST

Where: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans


Public Bets: 62% on Atlanta

Public Money: 96% on Atlanta

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of January 4th, 2024.

Atlanta vs. New Orleans In-Season Trends

Atlanta is a bettor’s dream because the Falcons almost always match their game result to their spread result. Through 16 games, the Falcons have yet to cover without winning the game outright, and they haven’t won without covering since beating Houston in Week 5. Atlanta’s also tended to go under in division games, going 1-4 to the under against the NFC South.

The days of New Orleans playing basketball on turf are long gone. The Saints have played to the under 11 times this season, including all five NFC South games. As long as the Saints can keep their opponents in the 20s or less, they usually cash the under. In four of their five overs, at least one team has gotten to 30, and it’s usually not the Saints.


There’s no weather to speak of in the Saints’ dome.

The Difference-Makers

Atlanta running back Bijan Robinson will likely play a big role in the Falcons’ efforts to take down the Saints. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty)

The Saints have got to figure out how to get into the red zone. Atlanta expertly bent without breaking in the first meeting, as New Orleans mostly spent a lot of time on the field going nowhere. The Saints had seven drives of at least six plays, but they ended up with just 15 points on five field goals.

That means New Orleans needs more from the ground game on short yardage. Alvin Kamara gained 69 yards on 15 carries, but almost half of that came on just three plays. That was the big problem for the Saints in that game: the offense was feast or famine. Out of 28 running plays, seven went for 79 yards and the other 21 managed just 69. When the big plays don’t get into the red zone, they’re not worth much. And to make matters worse, Kamara is questionable after missing practice Thursday.

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Atlanta proved far more consistent with Bijan Robinson. The Falcons’ first-round pick has struggled in his past two division games, but that’s in part because Atlanta liked what it was seeing from Taylor Heinecke. That’s not happening now, and the Falcons know they can run it on New Orleans. Compared to the nightmare of running against Chicago’s league-leading run defense, Atlanta should have a much easier time in the trenches.

The Pick

The Falcons aren’t going to put this in the hands of their quarterback. They know how to beat New Orleans, having done so once already. Plus, Atlanta plays the Saints tough anyway. In the past five meetings, taking Atlanta +3 would have yielded four wins against just one defeat.

Throw in the Saints’ success allergy, and the Falcons look like the right play here. With how much money’s coming in on Atlanta, I wouldn’t wait around on this one. Grab the Falcons now before the line gets under the critical number of 3. If you miss the 3, I’d just back Atlanta on the moneyline; I think the Falcons have a good chance to win this outright.

Dan’s Picks  

 Falcons +3 

 Falcons ML

 Under 42.5  



  • Dan Angell, Contributor

    Dan is originally from Virginia and has covered basketball games across the country over the past 18 years. He now resides in Indianapolis and loves a good defensive showcase. His Twitter @danangell11.

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