Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
One of my favorite things to do as a bettor is go against significant week-to-week line movements. This game has a significant one, as the Saints were favored by 4 points on the early line, but the line has since dropped to 3, as a result of Atlanta’s upset victory in the road in Oakland last week. That might not seem like a huge movement, as it’s only one point, but about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal, so that point matters. The Saints are also in a better spot than the Falcons, as the Falcons have to turn around and host the Panthers on a short week next week, after this Monday Night contest. Teams are 51-93 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 4, as tough upcoming home games like that tend to be a distraction.
Despite that, I’m actually going with the Falcons here, though for a no confidence play. This line suggests these two teams are even, but that’s only true if both of them are healthy. The Saints are already missing their two starting cornerbacks (Delvin Breaux and PJ WIlliams) for an extended period of time and are giving significant snaps to a pair of undrafted rookie cornerbacks (Ken Crawley and De’vante Harris). On top of that, they’re still without rookie first round pick Sheldon Rankins, one of their best defensive lineman. On the offensive side of things, left tackle Terron Armstead, one of the best in the league, is expected to miss this one. The Falcons, meanwhile, are relatively healthy, so they’re the pick here as long as we’re getting the full field goal with them.
New Orleans Saints 26 Atlanta Falcons 24
Pick against the spread: Atlanta +3