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2018 Turkey Day NFL Action: Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

- Photo credit: Jason Getz, USA TODAY Sports


Atlanta Falcons +13 (-110) @ New Orleans Saints

We observe a bunch of reasons to back the Falcons plus the 13 at the Saints in this evenings' Thanksgiving Day 2018 NFL closer. Foremost, our power rankings work makes the hottest team in football to be almost exactly ten points better than Atlanta Thursday, implying a field goal's worth of value with the road dogs. Additionally, a range of historical betting trends suggest the position of big home favorite, off a lights-out offensive display, facing poor intra-divisional competition is, in fact, a tough spot for the Saints. Accordingly, we are fading the New Orleans' eight-game cover streak, notably against the largest chalk of the Saints' season.

Separate from our quant-based indication in favor of the away team this evening, we observe that big favorites (such as New Orleans) have historically struggled to cover against bad teams in tented home games.

Teams expected to win domed home contests by more than a touchdown have covered only 43% of the time since 2003 versus opposition with a win rate of no more than 40%.

The Saints' utterly dominant performances of late likewise suggest an ATS reversal is due. New Orleans outscored the Bengals and then the Eagles by 37 and 41 points, respectively−this offensive explosion kicked off after beating the Rams by ten in week 9.

Fading teams after three-game stints marked by an average scoring margin of at least three touchdowns has been good for a 58% cover rate since 2003.

With only one loss heading into week 12, the Saints are the masters of the NFC South. The Falcons belong to the same division but, at 4-6 SU, rank third−two games behind the Carolina Panthers (Atlanta fans, be thankful for the Bucs this year!).

Taking double-digits in divisional action has been good for a 57% hit rate since 2003.

Bottom line: Generally speaking, fading double-digit favorites have proven historically profitable (53% ATS since 2003). This strategy is 8-6-1 ATS this season. As such, objective bettors should naturally tilt toward the points in such scenarios. In the case of this evening's action, validating the general tendency, we cite the value indicated by our primary NFL handicapping framework, as well as several situation-specific, broad trends that support the road dogs. As such, we are comfortable backing Atlanta +13.

Happy betting!!

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