Falcons vs Saints (12/18/22): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

The Saints and Falcons face off in New Orleans after each team underwent two game losing streaks followed by their respective bye weeks. These teams haven’t competed since since week 1, where the Saints won a narrow 27-26 game. However, much has changed since then including both of these teams starting quarterbacks so let’s take a closer look at how the rematch will fare.

Atlanta Falcons Vs. New Orleans Saints Betting Odds

The Saints are home favorites (-4) over the Falcons (+4). The over/under is set at 42.5. In week 1, the two teams surpassed this total accumulating 53 points, but neither team has scored more than 20 points in their last two games which is why this total is on the lower end.

Atlanta Falcons Vs. New Orleans Saints Prediction

In the wake of losing 4 of their past 5 games, the Falcons have named rookie QB Desmond Ridder as the team’s starting quarterback. HC Arthur Smith says he hopes the move will spark the team, especially in winning close games. The Falcons were in prime position earlier this season to take the weak NFC South, but let the opportunity wilt away, so now they’ll hand the reigns to Ridder with slim chances of taking the division. Look for Ridder’s dual threat ability to blend in with the Falcons offensive strengths, but beware of his struggles with accuracy which he was known for coming out of college.

The Saints hope their bye week will have erased the embarrassing memory of a crushing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where they gave up an improbable two consecutive touchdowns in a row. The Saints inconsistency all season has befuddled both fans and the league. While in certain games they’ve excelled and even looked like juggernauts on the field, they lack a firm identity. Injuries have in part played a role with many key players such as CB Marshon Lattimore, LB Pete Werner, and WR Michael Thomas occupying the injury report. If the Saints players are healthy, it significantly improves their odds Sunday.

This is another hard game to predict, with a lot riding on the pending performance of Desmond Ridder. Still, I’m going with the Saints for this game because at the very least they have home field advantage and a more experienced roster, which should overwhelm the rookie Ridder.

Prediction: Saints 21-16, Under hits.

Betting Trends

Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week.
Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

Key Injuries

Atlanta Falcons Injuries: Elijah Wilkinson (Q), Damien Williams (Q), Marcus Mariota (Q), Jalen Dalton (Q), Arnold Ebiketie (Q), Chuma Edoga (Q), John FitzPatrick (Q), Casey Hayward (Q), Jared Bernhardt (Q)

New Orleans Saints Injuries: Jerald Hawkins (Q), Forrest Lamp (Q), Mark Ingram (O), Pete Werner (Q), Payton Turner (Q), J.T. Gray (Q), Marshon Lattimore (Q), Juwan Johnson (Q), P.J. Williams (Q), Deonte Harty (Q), Zack Baun (Q),
Chase Hansen (Q)

Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Falcons vs Saints below.

The Falcons Run Offense vs the Saints Defensive Front

Like in many games this season, the Falcons best advantage lies in their run offense. The 4th best rush attack in the NFL primarily features the dynamic duo of RB Tyler Allegeier and RB Cordarelle Patterson. The run game and statistics may also receive a boost with Ridder in at QB. Ridder, like Mariota, is a dual threat QB and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him take off with his legs when plays break down given his inexperience at the position. The Falcons would be smart to utilize their multi-faceted run game to ease Ridder in to his starting role and capitalize on their team’s strength. In addition, the Saints run defense isn’t exactly intimidating and only ranks in the bottom half of the league. However the Saints held their previous two opponents to under 100 total yards rushing and should look to do the same versus the Falcons.

Saints Pass Offense vs Falcons Secondary

The Saints are certainly capable of big plays, particularly in the passing game. Rookie WR Chris Olave has proven he’s a weapon, but the Saints need more X-factors to draw attention away from Olave and create other opportunities.

The good news is the Saints recently got back WR Jarvis Landry who missed several weeks for injury. Though Landry hasn’t gone for over 35 receiving yards since returning, an extra week off will hopefully benefit him and the offense. The Falcons 6th worst passing defense is certainly not the worst opponent for the Saints. They give up 251.1 yards per game, and even with the return of CB A.J. Terrell are unable to prevent opposing offenses from having their way.

Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart

QB: Marcus Mariota
RB1: Cordarrelle Patterson
RB2: Tyler Allgeier
LWR: Bryan Edwards
RWR: Drake London
SWR: Olamide Zaccheaus
TE1: Kyle Pitts

New Orleans Saints Depth Chart

QB: Andy Dalton
RB1: Alvin Kamara
RB2: Mark Ingram II
LWR: Marquez Callaway
RWR: Chris Olave
SWR: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Juwan Johnson

A UCLA graduate, Eva is an experienced football writer who specializes in NFL game analysis and weekly storylines. In her free time you can usually find her cheering on the 49ers or watching the latest Josh Allen highlight clip.

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