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New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons Point Spread - Pick

New Orleans Saints (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-8 SU, 4-7 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2019 at 8:20PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NO -6.5/ATL +6.5
Over/Under Total: 50

The New Orleans Saints come to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a Thursday Night Football showdown with the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving. Atlanta saw a little spurt of success end on Sunday with a 35-22 loss at home to Tampa. Now at home again for the second game of a three game home stretch, they look for just their second home win of the season. For them, it's against a team against whom they've had some success in the New Orleans Saints. But at 9-2 with a lot of the line, the Saints look to even the score this Thursday. In a thrilling game on Sunday, the Saints were able to kick a FG with time running out to beat a pumped-up Panthers team, 34-31.

These teams met on November 10. With the Saints favored at home by 14 points, the Falcons won in a shocker, 26-9. It began a somewhat jarring about-face for the Falcons, who looked to be going nowhere after a 1-7 start. At the Superdome, however, they dominated, holding the Saints to no touchdowns—something that doesn't happen very often. The Falcons were very resourceful on just over 300 yards of total offense. They made the most of what they had, with Brian Hill getting some nice runs, while Matt Ryan connected with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. The Atlanta pass-rush was immense, with Grady Jarrett dominating up-front, with Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn also getting heavily involved. They held down the Saints' run-game and when it mattered and they needed a big play, they got it. Now at home, what will they do with what should be a fired-up Saints team bent on revenge?

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The Saints are really cruising now, with just two hiccups on the season. Drew Brees is now fully back and in a groove. Some key guys are back healthy, though in other areas they are dinged up, namely the O-line and on their back-seven on "D." Still, there is a lot to like on the defensive side of the ball and it has been a big part of their success this season. Having overcome a ton of injuries and still managing to retain their level from last season when they almost went to the Super Bowl shows their resourcefulness, grit, and character. In their fourth straight divisional game, can they get their third straight win?

A game with 30 completions, over 300 yards, and three TDs shows Brees is starting to get back into a groove. Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray fortify a strong run-game upon which Brees and the whole offense can rely. Michael Thomas is a monster of a receiver and as dependable as they come when you need a play when in a pinch. With Jared Cook, Kamara, Ted Ginn, and others, Brees has a pretty stocked tool box to unleash on opposing defenses. With two straight games of 34 points of scoring, this offense is back on the right track.

Against Carolina, this Saints' defense was at times exploited, while never relinquishing the upper hand. As usual, they were pretty tough against the run—something that has become a team-strength. A secondary that was once a liability is now at least average. And this is not a team that needs a defense that is great. What they need is what they have been getting—an exploitable, but still-stout defense that can get after the quarterback and make some positive plays that help the overall team effort. Even in the loss to Atlanta, they weren't that clutch perhaps, but they didn't allow a lot of offense. I look for them to be pretty tough this week, even on the short turnaround.

Atlanta couldn't keep the momentum going on Sunday, but have at least shown some signs of life lately. On Sunday, Matt Ryan threw a pick and fumbled a ball that was returned for a touchdown. Most drives died and miscues were the culprit, as was converting just 4 of 16 third downs. It's hard to be in the midst of another lost season for a team that was poised to win the Super Bowl three seasons ago. Not being able to run the ball hurts. They have aerial weapons with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, but an underachieving offensive line, uneven play from Ryan, and no run to set up the pass has made for a pretty ordinary offense. With the Falcons missing Austin Hooper and Jones having left the last game with a shoulder injury, it bears some notice. They're going to need weapons to pull this off.

The Falcons are looking for more of the same of what they saw in the first game with the Saints, when the defense had its best game of the season. It's just rare that they deliver that kind of menace. They can make a lot of plays—getting turnovers and getting after the quarterback. But the secondary is readily-exploitable and we saw that last week with Jameis Winston putting up big numbers against this bunch. They have difference-makers with Jarrett, Beasley, De'Vondre Campbell, Deion Jones, Damontae Kazee, and others, but their end product usually seems to manage to not be as good as their individual parts would suggest.

I see the Falcons being really into this game, for better or worse. Sure, there is more on the line for the Saints and they have the revenge component going for them, as well. But in a divisional setting at home on Thanksgiving on the short week, I think there is enough room for an otherwise not-so-great Falcons that thinks they can win to manage to stick around and fight their way to a cover on Thursday.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Atlanta Falcons plus 6.5 points. Bet the Saints-Falcons game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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