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Week 18 NFL Picks: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Odds, Preview, and Picks + Get $1,000 Free at BetOnline

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This Sunday, the New Orleans Saints travel to Georgia to take on fierce NFC South divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons with the former’s playoff hopes still intact, so -as always- our football expert is on hand with Week 18 NFL Picks for the game. Plus, find out you could receive a $1,000 deposit bonus ahead of the final week’s action at BetOnline. 

Click here to get a $1,000 deposit bonus at BetOnline when you sign up to bet on Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints

  • NFL – Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints
  • Sunday, January 9 at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
  • The game begins at 16:25 EST
  • Broadcast live on NFL GamePass

Sean Payton’s New Orleans Saints (8-8) have battled against adversity all season long but could still find themselves in with a chance at a playoff run should they beat their biggest NFC South division rival the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) on the road and the Rams beat the 49ers over in the NFC West.

For the latest odds available at BetOnline, a full game preview, all the latest team news, and our expert’s NFL Picks for the game, read on:

Falcons vs Saints Odds 

Below are the latest odds for Saints @ Falcons as seen on BetOnline on Thursday, January 6.

Our betting picks are highlighted in bold but do be aware that the odds are subject to change pending updated injury news etc. ahead of the opening punt.

Game Lines Falcons Saints
Moneyline +175 -205
Spread +4 (-110) -4 (-110)
Total Points U40.0 (-112) O40.0 (-118)
NFL Picks on the Prop Market: Big Win/Little Win – New Orleans by 0-13 points n/a +142

Click here to bet Saints @ Falcons at BetOnline

Falcons vs Saints Preview 

After nabbing three wins in their last four games, including a huge win vs NFC South rival the Carolina Panthers last Sunday (18-10) somehow, someway the New Orleans Saints have taken their push for playoff qualification into the last day of the regular season. Now, beat the Falcons and cross fingers for a Rams result vs the 49ers, and the Saints are in – something that looked improbable a little over a month ago during New Orleans’ five-game losing streak.

Against the Panthers, the Saints defense took the game to Sam Darnold and co. logging seven sacks (3.5 for Cam Jordan) and one pick (C.J. Gardner-Johnson), while the depleted Saints offensive line held up just enough to allow QB Taysom Hill to go 17/28 for 222-yards and 1 TD. RB Alvin Kamara toiled hard for yards throughout but finished up with 100-yards from scrimmage and a TD.

There’s no doubting that it was a positive performance on both sides of the ball for the Saints, who -despite great success in the RedZone- have struggled for yards all year (ranked 29th in NFL with a measly 300.5 YPG) without QB1 Jameis Winston and Hill under center, and without Alvin Kamara for most of that five-game losing run in October/November.

Saints at Falcons Picks Cam Jordan has a habit of sacking Falcons veteran QB Matt Ryan
Saints at Falcons Picks – Cam Jordan has a habit of sacking Falcons veteran QB Matt Ryan

The Falcons push for the playoffs ended last week when the Dirty Birds lost out 29-15 to the Buffalo Bills. But Matt Ryan and co. will no doubt be fired up to do a double over the Saints after beating them on the road at the Dome earlier in the season (27-25) in a game that was an absolute thriller! Because of the head-to-head record between the two teams, the Falcons could still finish above the Saints in 2nd in the NFC South with a win tonight, adding plenty of fuel to the fire in that respect.

On the year, Atlanta has boasted a pretty average-looking pass attack. QB Matt Ryan has struggled without his go-to receiving threat of Julio Jones (now at Tennessee) and WR1 option, Calvin Ridley, who has missed most of the season due to personal issues.

Rookie TE Kyle Pitts has been superb – the former Florida standout notched 69-yards vs Bills last week to become the first rookie TE since Mike Ditka to go over 1,000-yards in his first season and will break Ditka’s record with 58 more yards vs Saints on Sunday, and hats off to him for that! But, without Ridley and Jones, it just hasn’t been enough for the Dirty Birds, and Matt Ryan’s figures of 3,752-yards on the year look set to be his worst return in over a decade.

On the defensive side of things, the Falcons have been decent in coverage but rank 26th in the NFL against the run, conceding an average of 127.9-yards per game to opposing RBs/QBs – If the Saints keep the ball in the hands of AK41 and Taysom “Cannonball” Hill, Sean Payton’s team stand a decent chance of stealing a huge result in enemy territory come Sunday in our opinion.

Falcons vs Saints Team News

NFL Week 18 Picks Saints OT Ryan Ramczyk could be set for a return vs Falcons
NFL Week 18 Picks – Saints OT Ryan Ramczyk could be set for a return vs Falcons

The traveling Saints are expecting to get Pro-Bowl OT Ryan Ramczyk back in action in time for the final game of the year, which will be a huge plus for the run game if so. WR Tre’Quan Smith, OT Terron Armstead, and DE Marcus Davenport are listed as questionable but expected to feature given the magnitude of the game.

For the Falcons, aforementioned receiving threat TE Kyle Pitts is nursing a slight hamstring strain and missed the latter part of Wednesday’s practice session. Pitts is likely to be a game-time decision for Falcons coach Arthur Smith. Starting LDE Jonathan Bullard is definitely ruled out of the game (COVID).

Falcons vs Saints Picks

If the last game between these two teams is anything to go by, expect something of a nailbiter at the Mercedes Benz Arena this Sunday afternoon.

We’re backing the Saints though:

Sean Payton’s team has key members of the offensive line returning. Taysom Hill finally looked like a real QB last week vs the Panthers. Deonte Harris looks a threat on special teams and on offense since returning from his suspension. And then there’s the continued excellence of Cam Jordan (11.5 sacks) and the Saints defense for the Falcons to contend with -not to mention the always-excellent form of RB Alvin Kamara.

With Saints’ big names recovering from injury and all desperate to drag the Who Dat Nation back into the playoffs, it’s hard to bet against them.

Prediction: New Orleans win and make a surprise appearance in the playoffs after a difficult, transitional year marred by injuries, hurricanes, floods – you name it. But take them on the spread for better odds at -4 (-110).

Click here to bet on Saints to cover the -4 spread (-110) at BetOnline

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