Falcons vs. Saints odds, props, predictions: New Orleans favored despite home ATS woes

Despite the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) entering their season finale as the 12th seed in the NFC, they still have hopes to earn the South Division title and fourth seed in the conference playoffs when they play the division rival Saints (8-8) in New Orleans on Sunday in an early afternoon game.

The Saints also harbor division title hopes, in addition to perhaps earning a Wild Card berth if a South title doesn’t pan out.

According to PlayoffStatus.com, New Orleans has a 23 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason. Atlanta has a 9 percent shot. Neither controls its destiny.

New Orleans opened as a 3.5-point favorite on Sunday evening. Current Falcons vs. Saints odds have New Orleans , with the Atlanta moneyline at . The OVER/UNDER sits at .

With regard to records against the spread, these teams have performed horribly for their betting backers this season. New Orleans has gone 5-10-1, but is 3-1 in its past four. Atlanta has gone 5-11, but one of the victories was a 24-15 triumph at home vs. the Saints six weeks ago as a 1.5-point underdog.

On the OVER/UNDER chart, Saints games have gone OVER in five of their 16 games, tied for fewest in the NFL. Falcons outings have gone OVER six times.

Falcons vs. Saints odds: Point spread, moneyline, total for NFL Week 18 clash

Here’s the latest NFL betting odds for Falcons vs. Saints:

Both teams have their eyes/ears open to get updates on Tampa Bay’s road game against Carolina (2-14), which has the same kickoff time.

If the Buccaneers, who have an 8-8 record, lose to the underdog Panthers, then the winner of Saints vs. Falcons wins the division. The Saints earn the South with the best overall record, while the Falcons would win with their 3-1 head-to-head edge against the Buccaneers and Saints.

Should Tampa Bay claim the division, the Saints could earn a wild-card with a win over Atlanta combined with a Seattle loss at Arizona and a Green Bay loss at Chicago. 

More betting action: NFL Week 18 ATS picks | NFL Week 18 Sharp Money Report

Falcons vs. Saints injury news

Here is the current injury report for the Falcons vs. Saints:

The Saints’ main concern is the ankle injury to leading rusher Alvin Kamara. He could be a game-time decision on Sunday. 

Atlanta is monitoring the ankle injury that knocked QB Taylor Heinicke out of last week’s 37-17 loss in Chicago. 

Falcons betting news

Atlanta has had great success in New Orleans, going 31-13 ATS against the Saints since 1978. Included was a stretch of 16 spread-beating victories from 1984-99 that featured a playoff victory in 1991 as a 6.5-point underdog. That was one of 11 straight-up wins as a dog in that stretch.

More recently, the Falcons have gone 3-1 ATS in the Superdome, with the highlight being their 26-9 victory four seasons ago as a 13.5-point underdog.

What’s with Atlanta considering banged-up Heinicke the start after one of the most miserable performances by a starting QB this year? He was 10-for-29 with three INTs against the Bears.

If he can’t go, twice-benched Desmond Ridder will probably return to the huddle. He was the starter for Atlanta in that earlier victory against the Saints with one TD pass and two INTs.

Also check: Best NFL betting sites | Super Bowl odds | NFL MVP odds

Saints betting news

The Saints haven’t capitalized on playing at home the past three seasons.

New Orleans has been victorious in its past two games in the Dome (straight up and against the spread) against bottom-feeders Carolina and the NY Giants. But in the Saints’ other home games since 2021, they are 9-12 SU and 6-15 ATS.

QB Derek Carr is leading New Orleans’ recent mini-surge of three wins in four weeks. In his past three games he’s had eight TD throws and one INT.

Carr stands as the league’s 10th-rated QB (passer rating). Ridder is 28th. Heinicke would rank 32nd if he had a qualifying number of throws.

Falcons vs. Saints props

Let’s look at some prop bets for the Falcons vs. Saints at top-rated sportsbook apps nationwide.

Falcons vs. Saints anytime touchdown scorers (FanDuel)

  • Bijan Robinson (+100)
  • Jamaal Williams (+125)
  • Chris Olave (+180)
  • Taysom Hill (+180)
  • Tyler Allgeier (+240)
  • Drake London (+270)

Falcons vs. Saints passing totals (DraftKings)

  • Derek Carr O/U 232.5 passing yards
  • Taylor Heinicke O/U 192.5 passing yards
  • Derek Carr O/U 1.5 passing TDs
  • Taylor Heinicke O/U 0.5 passing TDs

Falcons vs. Saints predictions

The potential absence of Kamara would affect not only the Saints’ ground game but also the passing attack since he’s the team’s second-most targeted receiver.

But they’ve got a veteran who could fill in nicely — Jamaal Williams. He scored a league-best 17 rushing TDs last year for Detroit but hasn’t found the same success on the Saints.

Williams had 19 carries for 58 yards against the Bucs’ seventh-best rush defense last week (yielding 3.8 a carry).

The Saints now will go against an Atlanta defense that gave up 432 yards to the Bears and allowed them to score TDs on four of five first-and-goal possessions.

Prediction: Saints and UNDER

How to Watch Falcons vs. Saints

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 7
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • Location: Caesars Superdome — New Orleans, LA
  • Where to Watch: CBS

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