The Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints matchup may not have the firepower of recent seasons. Nevertheless, this game still has future playoff implications on the line. Here is a Falcons vs. Saints prediction, along with the NFL odds, TV channel, and live stream options for the divisional battle.
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints prediction and odds | Week 9
- Spread: Saints -5.5
- Moneyline: Saints -275, Falcons +220
- Over/Under: 42
- Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Atlanta is 3-4 and on the wrong side of the NFC playoff picture. If they want any chance of sneaking into the postseason, they will have to knock off the 5-2 Saints in Week 9. The task became easier with the news that Jameis Winston is done for the season with an ACL tear.
Taysom Hill returned to practice Wednesday after missing the last three games due to a concussion. Still, he was only listed as a limited participant. If he can’t log a full practice before Sunday, I don’t envision head coach Sean Payton starting him over third-stringer Trevor Siemian, especially after he helped the team upset the Buccaneers last week.
Regardless, this offense is anemic outside of RB Alvin Kamara. New Orleans hoped to get Michael Thomas back at some point this season, but that hope has officially been dashed. The Saints only have two wide receivers with over 100 receiving yards — Marquez Callaway (284) and Deonte Harris (271). No other team has less than three!
There is a reason the total is so low
This game’s over/under of 42 is the third-lowest of the week, trailing only the Patriots vs. Panthers (41) and Bears vs. Steelers (40). The reason? Well, on top of the Saints’ poor passing output, the Falcons have quietly been solid in coverage. They are allowing 233.1 pass yards per game, 12th-fewest in the NFL.
Much of that is due to Atlanta playing Cover 2 at a high rate, ensuring they are hardly beat for chunk gains. As a result, 2020 first-round pick A.J. Terrell has looked stout just a year removed from already receiving the “bust” label. However, they are one of the worst defenses against the run, conceding 125.1 rushing yards per game (seventh-most).
This bodes well for New Orleans, who averages 125 rushing yards per game (ninth-most) — right? Not so fast. The Saints only average 4.0 yards per carry (21st) and gain most of their yards on sheer volume. They run the ball 31.3 times per game, second only to the Titans (32.5).
So, we have one team that can limit passing yards but struggles to defend the run, facing another who can’t pass the ball but loves to pound the rock — inefficiently. Got it.
Falcons vs. Saints prediction
While I would love to predict a Falcons upset here, I can’t do it. With Calvin Ridley out indefinitely, Matt Ryan really only has Kyle Pitts and a surging Cordarrelle Patterson as reliable weapons. Mike Davis can’t get anything going on the ground, and Tajae Sharpe, Russell Gage (questionable), and Olamide Zaccheaus don’t exactly inspire confidence as receivers.
In the end, I predict the Saints to do just enough to stave off the Falcons. Atlanta may have some extra motivation from the city, with the Braves winning the World Series on Tuesday. Yet, it won’t matter when Cameron Jordon and Co. maul their offensive line.
Prediction: Saints 17, Falcons 14
How to watch and listen to Falcons vs. Saints this week
- Start time: 1 PM ET
- Channel: FOX
- Live stream:
- Hulu + Live TV
- YouTube TV
- DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket
- NFL Mobile App
- TuneIn Radio
- Sirius XM Radio
- NFL Game Pass
- Local Atlanta: The Game 92.9 FM
- Local New Orleans: WWL 105.3 FM/870 AM