Fans of the Atlanta Falcons are going to have to get used to not seeing Matt Ryan under center. After the veteran starter was traded to Indianapolis in the offseason, the Falcons showed everyone that it was time to make a change. With Calvin Ridley out on a gambling suspension, the Falcons offense will have a very different look this season, as they look to be in rebuild mode.
The Saints have undergone some changes as well. Sean Payton left the Saints at the end of last season, and longtime defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is now the head coach. The Saints are hoping that Jameis Winston will stay healthy for the full season, as he missed a majority of last season with an injury.
These two will meet up in their season opener at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday. While both teams will have a different look, they’ll both be fighting to stay in the divisional race, as almost all NFL experts have penciled in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their NFC South champions. With all that being said, it’s time to take a closer look at the upcoming match between Saints and Falcons, so you can bet against their NFL Odds.
NFL Betting Preview of the New Orleans Saints versus Atlanta Falcons Week 1 Matchup
New Orleans Saints
We already talked about some of the changes around the Saints, but there are a few more to talk about. Michael Thomas is back in the mix this season after missing all of last year due to injury. The Saints also drafted Chris Olave from Ohio State to help solidify the passing game. Jarvis Landry will also be in the fold, as the Saints signed the Louisiana native in the offseason.
Alvin Kamara has had some off-field issues, but he should be ready to go for the opener. The Saints brought back their long-time lead back Mark Ingram to back Kamara up. If Winston can stay healthy, this should be a very good offense this season.
As for the defense, Allen should have his squad ready to go. The Saints have had one of the top defenses in the league over the past few seasons, and this year should be no different. The Saints pass rush could give Atlanta problems, and their secondary is very good, so we’ll see how the Falcons handle things on Sunday.
Fans have been used to seeing Ryan under center for years. Now they’ll get to see Marcus Mariota taking the snaps. The former second-overall pick hasn’t lived up to his draft position yet. Arthur Smith is giving him a shot at redemption, and we’ll see if Mariota is up to the task. He’ll have second-year tight end Kyle Pitts and rookie first-round pick, wide receiver Drake London at his disposal. We also can’t forget about last year’s surprise offensive player, Cordarelle Patterson manning the backfield.
As has been the case over the past few seasons, the defense doesn’t look to be very strong. Atlanta did make some free agent signings to try and bolster the defense, but once again, this could be the biggest weakness the Falcons have this season. Time will tell.
This one is going to be a close one. The Saints are currently favored by 5.5 points. Not much is expected of the Falcons this season. However, we think that this one will be tight late, and the Saints will score a late touchdown to win. We have the Saints winning, but we don’t think they’ll cover the 5.5-point spread.