Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber campaign and the New Orleans Saints are the hottest team in all of football, having won nine straight games heading into Week 12. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are struggling mightily and don’t look like they have any hope of pulling off the upset over the incendiary Saints. If you’re looking to find out where the best betting value is in this intriguing Week 12 NFC South divisional battle, then let’s get to my expert NFL betting prediction right now.
Thursday Night Football | Thanksgiving Day Game: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
What: Thursday Night Football, Thanksgiving Day Game: Atlanta Falcons (4-6) at New Orleans Saints (9-1)
When: Thursday, November 22, 2018, 8:20 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Partly Cloudy: 14°C | 57°F
Wind: 8 MPH W
Stadium Type: Dome
Atlanta ended up on the wrong end of a narrow 22-19 home loss against Dallas on Sunday while failing to cover the spread as a 3.5-point home favorite. Matt Ryan passed for 291 yards with one touchdown and one interception and the Falcons nearly came back from a 10-point deficit to get the win before coming up just short and falling on Brett Maher’s game-winning 42-yard field goal as time expired.
“It’s aggravating,” cornerback Robert Alford said. “We’ve got to learn to finish games.”
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans won its ninth straight game by obliterating the defending champion Eagles 48-7 on Sunday as Drew Brees passed for 363 yards and four touchdowns to lead the way to victory. Veteran running back Mark Ingram had his second straight impressive performance with 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries while veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith hauled in 10 passes for 157 yards and one score. New Orleans has scored 45 points or more in three straight games.
“It’s a lot of points, but we have a high standard for ourselves,” Brees said. “You’re still not satisfied because you know you could have done a little bit better — but the end result is good.”
Expert Pick and Prediction
I don’t see a whole lot of sense in beating around the bush with my pick on this Week 12 NFC South divisional matchup simply because New Orleans is playing lights out and Atlanta looks lost and confused for the most part. The Saints are averaging 11.5 points per game more than Atlanta while also giving up 4.3 fewer points per game defensively.
I know just one of the last 10 matchups between these longtime division rivals has been decided by more than this game’s 13-point spread, but I’m banking on New Orleans to do just that in this contest. The Falcons are an awful 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games. On the flip side of the coin, Drew Brees and company have gone a perfect 8-0 ATS in their last eight games, 6-0 ATS in their last six games against their NFC counterparts and an impressive 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games against their NFC South division rivals. I like New Orleans to lay an emphatic spanking on Atlanta in this one!
Predicted Score: New Orleans Saints 38 | Atlanta Falcons 21