Week 3 Monday Night Football: Pair Bet on Falcons @ Saints
Atlanta Falcons +3.0 (-120) @ New Orleans Saints u53.5 (-110)
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
September 26, 5:30 PM PDT
Every indicator in the house, across both power ranking and computer simulation categories, calls for the Saints to eke out a narrow win, but to miss the cover as three point home favorites versus the Falcons. Accordingly, we are backing the road dogs to beat the number on week 3's installment of Monday Night Football.
We see this out as eerily similar two week 2 for the Falcons in several regards: Atlanta is 1) on the road, facing 2) an elite offense unit and 3) a terrible defense.
By DVOA, the Saints offense is sixth so far this year, and is projected to finish fifth for the whole season. The Falcon's opposition last week, the Oakland Raiders, sit at the top of the list of NFL offenses by this metric, and are expected to rank 8th at the end of the year. Further, Oakland is projected to finish 29th defensively, while New Orleans is forecast to end the season in the 31st slot.
Atlanta demonstrated its potential in week 2 against good offenses and sfot defenses, and our work expects a similar outcome Monday, against a confused 0-2 Saints team that was most recently held to 13 points in a losing effort versus the average defense of the New York Giants.
New Orleans is 7-5 ATS facing Atlanta since 2010, including a most impressive 4-1 home stand. However, broadly speaking, the Saints have struggled versus the number at the Superdome over the last couple of years, as reflected by their 2-3-1 and 2-6 home records ATS for 2015 and 2014. Also, New Orleans hasn't fared especially well under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. The Saints are 2-3 straight up and against the spread in their last five appearances (the Falcons are 4-1 ATS most recently in Monday games).
Separately, our computer simulation work points to an average/median combined total of 50/51 when all is said and done. As such, we are also betting UNDER 53.5. Interestingly, despite the significant attention garnered by these teams offenses over the last two or three seasons, the UNDER has been dominant when they have gotten together. Since 2012, for instance, the UNDER is 5-2-1 in Falcons / Saints meetings.
Bottom line: On average, we see Saints coming out on top, 26-24. Such an effort secures New Orlean's first straight up win of the season, but falls short of the cover. UNDER backers should likewise collect--with a few points to spare.