The Saints come in as the betting underdog for their NFC Divisional duel against the Vikings.

Atlanta at New Orleans Free Pick & Betting Odds

Written by on September 23, 2016

The biggest total on NFL odds in Week 3 is the Monday night matchup between NFC South rivals Atlanta and New Orleans, and it should be a very emotional night in the Superdome as it’s the 10-year anniversary of New Orleans’ first game back at the stadium following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Here’s a Look at the Atlanta at New Orleans Free Pick, Betting Odds & TV Info

When: Monday, Sept. 26, 8:30 PM ET Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans TV: ESPN Stream: WatchESPN Radio: Atlanta / New Orleans Opening NFL Lines: Saints -3 (53.5)

Atlanta vs New Orleans Historic Betting Trends

Atlanta leads the series, 48-45, with New Orleans holding a 15-5 advantage over the Falcons since 2006. At the Superdome, New Orleans holds a 21-18 advantage over Atlanta. The series has been defined by close games. Since 1991, 28 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. Seven games in the series have gone into overtime. This will be the seventh Monday Night Football matchup between the Saints and the Falcons, the most frequent opponent for New Orleans on Monday nights. On Sept. 25, 2006, the Saints returned to the Superdome for the first game since Hurricane Katrina a year earlier. The Saints forced the Falcons to go three-and- out on the first series of the game. Steve Gleason rushed down the middle to block Michael Koenen’s punt and Curtis Deloatch recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The Superdome crowd went nuts. The Saints won 23-3 and Gleason’s blocked punt is now commemorated with a statue outside the Superdome.

Why Bet on Atlanta?

Atlanta improved to 1-1 with a 35-28 victory at Oakland in Week 2. Matt Ryan threw three TD passes, but got lucky on the go-ahead one in the fourth quarter. His third-down throw to Tevin Coleman was broken up, but the ball bounced high in the air and Justin Hardy caught it in the end zone to put Atlanta up 28-21. The offense showed signs of progress by compiling 528 yards and punching it in the end zone when it needed to most. Ryan completed 26 of 34 passes for 396 yards with those three touchdowns. He spread the ball around to nine receivers. Ryan leads the NFL with a 121.4 passer rating, completing 53 of 73 passes (72.6 percent) for 730 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Star receiver Julio Jones has nine catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Tight end Jacob Tamme leads the Falcons in targets (16) and receptions (11), and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman both are capable runners who catch passes from out of the backfield. Freeman and Coleman have a near-equal split in snaps (70 to 62). Freeman rushed for 93 yards against the Raiders, and he averaged 4.0 yards over 28 carries through two games. Coleman averaged 3.4 yards over 20 carries through two games, and he scored on a 13-yard run vs. Oakland.

Why Bet on New Orleans?

The 0-2 Saints need this one, although history shows that 0-2 teams advance to the playoffs more often than people might think. Since the current playoff format was instituted in 1990, 26 teams started 0-2 and still qualified for the postseason. The 1993 Dallas Cowboys started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XXVIII. The 2007 New York Giants started 0-2 before winning Super Bowl XLII. The Saints lost a close Week 1 game at home to Oakland and then fell 16-13 at the Giants in Week 2 on a 23-yard field goal as time expired. After allowing Drew Brees to throw for 511 yards and an NFL-tying seven touchdowns last year, New York limited him to one touchdown, 263 yards passing and 288 yards in total team offense. This season, Brees has completed 57 of 68 (66.3 percent) for 686 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 109.9 passer rating. Saints wide receivers Willie Snead (226 yards, two touchdowns) and Brandin Cooks (211 yards, two touchdowns) are the only players in the NFL with at least 200 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. New Orleans lost cornerback P.J. Williams to a concussion vs. the Giants and he was placed on injured reserve. Williams is unlikely to return this season, since the Saints can return only one player from injured reserve. The Saints’ cornerback position has been ravaged by injury. Their top cornerback, Delvin Breaux, suffered a broken fibula in Week 1 that is expected to keep him out for at least six weeks. Veteran Keenan Lewis was released during the preseason after a setback with his lingering hip injury.

My Free Pick

Underdog is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Under is 5-1- 1 in the last 7 meetings. Home team is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings. Over is 5-2- 1 in the last 8 meetings in New Orleans. Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in New Orleans Brees is 15-6 in his career against the Falcons so take the Saints and the under in NFL betting.