Officially eliminated from the playoffs after losing to the Buffalo Bills, the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) will top off the 2021 season against rival Saints (8-8) at home. It’s a different story for New Orleans who still have a chance at making the postseason after beating the Carolina Panthers.
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
The Saints entered Week 17 as 6.5-point favorites and remain the favored team for this matchup. As for the Falcons, they were 13.5-point underdogs last week and are still the team getting the points in Week 18. According to GTbets (visit our GTbets Review), New Orleans is a 4.5-point favorite over Atlanta with the over/under at 40.
The Saints were able to squeeze out an 18-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers at home last Sunday. Running back Alvin Kamara was the star of the show and racked up 32 yards on 13 carries, along with 68 yards in the air and one score on 5 receptions. The lone touchdown pass to Kamara came in the fourth quarter with less than 8 minutes on the clock to put them in the lead.
The defense also put on a spectacular show and held the Panthers to 178 yards of total offense and sacked quarterback Sam Darnold 7 times. QB Taysom Hill finished the win 17/28 passing for 207 yards and one touchdown. He also added 12 carries for 45 yards on the ground. A special thanks to Kamara and New Orleans’s defense, the Saints’ playoff hopes are still alive if they can take down Atlanta this week while the LA Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers.
It looked like the Falcons had a shot at upsetting the Buffalo Bills when they took the lead at halftime. And then they failed to put any points on the board in the second half. The Falcons defense intercepted quarterback Josh Allen on three consecutive possessions but gave up in the end as Atlanta fell 29-15. Matt Ryan threw under 200 passing yards while the offense finished just 1-for-7 on third-downs.
Falcons’ star rookie tight end Kyle Pitts who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards, exited the Falcons’ loss briefly with a hamstring injury. He returned to finish the game, but you could tell that his hammy was still bothersome. The Falcons have not given an update on his injury status yet, but Atlanta will need him if they want a chance at winning as they are very slim at receiving depth.
The last time these two teams met, the Falcons were able to grab a road win. But they’ve only won two other games since then. Even though they have no postseason to play for anymore, eliminating the Saints would put a cherry on top of their season. However, it’s not going to be easy as they continue to struggle on both sides of the ball, especially at home with just one home win under their belt in 2021.
New Orleans, still on the hunt, will come to win and take advantage of the Falcons’ very weak offensive line. I'll take them for my NFL picks. Let’s just hope that Matt Ryan can come out of this game uninjured as he magically has been able to all season.
NFL Pick: New Orleans Saints -4.5 (-109) at GTbets
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.