Falcons An Unreliable Bet In 2015, Shade Saints +4 As The NFL Pick

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 9:40 PM GMT

New Orleans Saints & Atlanta Falcons collide in week 17 NFL betting for a game that holds no significance towards the postseason. Where should NFL bettors therefore line up their NFL picks?

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NFL Picks: Saints +4 (-105) 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Atlanta Falcons (8-7-0, 4-3 home)
The Atlanta Falcons, all of a sudden, righted the ship in week 15 NFL betting when they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17 on the road and snapped a six-game losing skid that climaxed on a most horrendous 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers on the road the week prior. In beating the Jaguars, the Falcons came through as the 2-point road underdogs in closing NFL betting markets to improve to 7-7 SU on the season; thereby, salvaging their meagre playoff hopes. And in week 16 they took another improbable step towards the postseason behind one of the biggest upsets of the season, a 20-13 win over the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. That the shocking win came merely a fortnight after the Panthers handed the Falcons a bagel made the outcome even more spectacular.

Alas, it all came to naught. When Minnesota Vikings beat the NY Giants in Sunday Night Football comprehensively (49-17), the Atlanta Falcons, in one fell swoop, were eliminated. Too little too late for the Falcons.

What this amounts to is a relatively meaningless game on Sunday in the broad spectrum of the 2015-2016 NFL season. Although the Falcons have nothing to gain by winning at home to the Saints, they also have nothing to lose. It’s an intense NFC South rivalry for bragging rights after all, and the Saints beat the Falcons earlier this season 31-21 at the Superdome. A loss that snapped their perfect 5-0 SU start on the season and, in hindsight, was the beginning of their negative trend.

 

New Orleans Saints (6-9-0, 2-5 away)
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a 38-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Superdome, coming through as the nominal home chalk relatively comfortably. Any question marks about Drew Brees’ fitness were laid to rest as the starter gritted his way through the game to lift the Saints to victory.

All in all, it’s been a disappointing season for the Saints. They failed to live up to preseason expectations in a highly charged NFC South division. Drew Brees can’t do it all alone, never mind he’s not getting any younger, and that defense is so porous it’s not even funny anymore. At the end of the regular season next week, the Saints are sure to go straight into the drawing board and initiate some wholesale changes. If they don’t, they sure to continue on this negative trend in the next season.

In any event, the Saints will be looking to cap their forgettable season on a positive note. However, the Falcons, largely down to the win which ended the Panthers’ undefeated season, are noteworthy favorites on the NFL odds board, trading at 4-points at most sportsbooks to the good. What’s more, they appear to be the irresistible NFL pick in public betting circles.

 

NFL Betting Verdict
It seems the Saints are going to have all to do to beat the Falcons. As of Tuesday, the Falcons have acquired 52.33% of spread tickets and 67.65% of the money risked on the game according to SBR Consensus Betting reports.

That’s a clear reaction if ever there was any to their upset win over the Panthers in week 16. How will the Falcons react now that their slim playoff hopes were so cruelly crushed by the Vikings, especially after they put it all out there in Sunday’s early game? It must be devastating to know they were so close yet so far away.

Let’s also not forget it wasn’t a long time ago when they were a right headscratcher on the NFL betting floor, crashing and burning in seven of eight games after a 5-0 SU. Heck, they have the dubious honour of becoming the third team in the history of the NFL to start a season 5-0 and not make the playoffs.

To put it bluntly, the Falcons are the least trustworthy NFL pick of the season. Same goes for the Saints as well. Both teams have been wholly inconsistent and off colour from game-to-game. It’s anybody’s guess which way this final game will go. For our money, we’re thinking this could be a let-down spot for the Falcons – after the high of beating the Panthers and the low of having the playoffs snatched from under their noses. As such, we’re fading the public and taking the Saints on our NFL Picks to cover as the 4-point road underdogs.