Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Betting Pick

It turns out replacing Drew Brees is going to be harder than it looks for the Saints. Jameis Winston had led New Orleans to a 5-2 record and right in the hunt with Tampa Bay in the NFC South, but Winston injured his leg last week and is lost for the season. That makes things very interesting for week 9 NFL picks when Atlanta visits. 

The Saints have some undeniable QB issues, but sportsbooks don’t seem to be that bothered as BetUS and BetOnline both have New Orleans as -6 point home favorites. It’s do-or-die time for the 3-4 Falcons, and there’s no better time to get the upset than in the Saints’ first game with a new QB.

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Falcons Missed Out on Three in a Row

Atlanta is 3-2 over their last five games, with their two defeats coming by a total of 10 points. Something to consider about that stretch is that the Falcons’ opponents have been the Giants, Washington, Miami, the Jets, and Carolina – none of which look to be playoff teams. 

The Falcons had an opportunity for a three-game win streak but fell 19-13 at home last week to Carolina as -2.5 favorites in the betting lines. Atlanta managed just 213 yards of total offense, with Matt Ryan throwing for just 146 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT. 

Atlanta has virtually no running game, as their 87.0 ypg are in the bottom five in the NFL. That’s going to put a lot more pressure on Ryan to cover the +6 point betting odds, and he had posted five straight multi-TD games prior to last week’s loss to Carolina. 

Atlanta is going to have to ramp up their run defense coming into week 9 NFL picks. New Orleans is going to increase their run frequency with all the QB issues, and the Falcons gave up over 200 yards on the ground to Carolina last week. Atlanta ranks 26th in the league in allowing 125.1 rush yards/game. 

New Era Starts for Saints 

Normally Jameis Winston going down wouldn’t be as huge of an issue because he was in a QB competition in the offseason anyway, so Taysom Hill would just naturally step in. Hill has missed the last two weeks in concussion protocol. However, making it look like the Saints’ betting picks rely upon the hands of Trevor Siemian vs. Atlanta. 

HIll is probable, but Sean Payton will still likely go with Siemian against the Falcons. For one, Siemian played well in the 36-27 win at home against Tampa Bay last week (as +4 underdogs on the betting odds), going 16/29 for 159 yards and a TD. 

Expect a heavy dose of RB Alvin Kamara on Sunday as he had 61 yards and a TD last week vs. the Bucs. RB Mark Ingram is also back in New Orleans, where he spent the first eight seasons of his career, and he averaged 4.5 ypc on six attempts last week. Ingram knows Payton’s system well. 

Falcons at Saints Pick 

New Orleans won both of the meetings with Atlanta last season, 24-9 at home and 21-16 on the road. Taysom Hill started both of those games at QB for the Saints, so very similar results could be possible this year. 

The Saints ran for 166 and 207 yards in the two games vs. Atlanta last season. The Falcons have an atrocious run defense this season which New Orleans can exploit in the teams’ first meeting this season. It won’t matter who is under center for the Saints as long as they can hand the football off. 

Pick: Saints -6

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