Saints @ Falcons
Atlanta welcomes New Orleans to town for what should be a cracking match up between two quality sides.
YPR = Yards Per Rush
YPS = Yards Per Pass
YPPL = Yards Per Play
The Saints were impressive at home defeating Carolina 31-21. NO ran for 148 yards and 5.3ypr but also allowed Carolina 112 yards rushing and 4.9ypr. The Saints averaged 7.0yps to 5.6yps for the Panthers. Overall NO out gained Carolina 6.3yppl to 5.3yppl and controlled the ball for about seven minutes more than Carolina. The Saints scored ten points on drives of 34 yards or less.
Atlanta fell at home to a very good Vikings team, 14-9. Atlanta out ran Minnesota 4.6ypr to 3.4ypr but were out passed 6.5yps to 6.0yps. The Vikings controlled the ball for about nine minutes longer than Atlanta. Overall, Atlanta out gained Minnesota 5.4yppl to 5.0yppl but Minnesota ran the ball nine more times to dilute their stats a little bit.
These two teams are pretty even from the line of scrimmage, similar to what we said about Minnesota and Atlanta last week. NO is 0.9yppl better than average on offense but 0.1yppl worse than average on defense making them 0.8yppl better than average overall. They are 10 points better than average from a scoring standpoint. Atlanta is 0.7yppl better than average on offense and 0.2yppl better than average on defense making them 0.9yppl better than an average team overall. But, from a scoring standpoint, where NO is 10 points better than average Atlanta is just 3 points better than an average team. Some of that is because NO is plus three in turnovers while Atlanta is minus three in turnovers.
For the Saints G Andrus Peat is out and RB Mark Ingram is questionable after not practicing. CB Marshon Lattimore is expected back in this game.
For Atlanta, G Andrew LeVitre is out but CB’s Desmond Trufant and Brian Poole are expected back.
My numbers favor Atlanta by about ½ point and project about 50 points. The Saints would qualify in a negative road situation which is 120-61-6 and plays against NO in this game if they are favored. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 313-221-3.
The Saints are 14-6-1 as road underdogs in their last 21 games as road dogs. But, they are just 3-4-1 as road dogs of three or less points during that same time frame. That makes them 11-3 ats as road dogs of more than three points should that opportunity exist this year, which probably won’t happen unless they go on the road in the playoffs. Atlanta failed as a short home favorite last week and they are now just 1-10 ats the last eleven times they have been a home favorite of three or less points.
If Atlanta were to become a home dog again they are 7-1 ats the last eight times they have been a home dog. NO has played five above average offenses this year and allowed 26 or more points to each of those teams. In their seven other games against below average offenses they have allowed 17 or less in each game with the exception of last week’s game against Carolina where they allowed 21 points. They are also 0-2 SU and ATS on the road against better than average offenses. Atlanta has also allowed 23 or more to every above average offense they have faced with the exception of TB who they allowed 20 points to but TB is a mess so it’s hard to really factor them into the equation.
This game figures to be a close game and both teams figure to get into the twenties in this game. I’d prefer to take whoever is the dog in this game and I’d look at Atlanta, especially if they became a dog of three or more points. I’d also look to go under if the total somehow went up to 54, which isn’t likely.
ATLANTA 24 NEW ORLEANS 23