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NFL Pick: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Thursday Night Football Offers Big NFC South Matchup

The New Orleans Saints (9-3 Overall, 4-2 Away) play the Atlanta Falcons (7-5 Overall, 3-3 Home) tonight in Thursday Night Football. Our New Orleans plays Atlanta 2017 Thursday Night Football pick has the Falcons anywhere from -1.0 to -2.5 and the totals at either 51.5 or 52.0. The Saints, who are doing better than expected this season, are first in the NFC South, while Atlanta, which is underperforming, finds themselves in third place. This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. They will play one another again on Dec 24.

New Orleans Overall

The Saints have been good for 29.4 PPG this season. They’ve been giving up 20.3 PPG, which for this team signals a better-than-average defense. In fact, New Orleans, for a change, actually does have a defense. Their stats include 33 sacks, 11 picks and 17 FF. They also have 66 PD and 38 TFL. These are all very impressive numbers. DE Cameron Jordan is proving to be a highlight player, as he’s accumulated 10 sacks, seven PD, and two FF. Safety Kenny Vaccaro has grabbed three picks while defending seven passes. CB Ken Crawley, who is questionable tonight, comes to the turf with 10 PD and one interception.

The Saints often put a productive passing game on the field and this season is no different than others, as QB Drew Brees is completing 71.5% of his passes for 17 TDs. He’s tossed five picks. He has a fine selection of players to throw too including Michael Thomas who leads the team with 77 catches while posting three TDs. Dual-threat Alvin Kamara has 59 catches and four TD receptions for a total of 614 yards. The running back also has 86 catches for 606 yards and seven more scores. RB Mark Ingram, who is questionable tonight due to a toe injury, has rushed for 922 yards on 180 attempts while scoring nine times.

Saints Summary

  • Very sound D
  • Can attack on ground and in air
  • Brees is in control

Atlanta Overall

The Falcons have been underperforming, scoring on average 22.8 PPG, while allowing 20.3. QB Matt Ryan (66.7 COMP%, 16 TDs, 8 INTs) will be looking to utilize WRs Julio Jones (68 REC, 15.6 AVG, 3 TDs) and Mohammed Sanu (48 REC, 10.3 AVG, 4 TDs). Jones has over 1,000 yards in catches. Two RBs share the ground game chores with Tevin Coleman averaging 4.3 YPA and Devonta Freeman picking up 4.6 YPA while they have scored five touchdowns each.

The defense comes to this game with 11 FF, seven fumble recoveries, and 31 sacks. Those are decent stats. But they have just three picks and 49 PD. Those number are less-than-impressive. DE Adrian Clayborn leads the club with eight sacks, while CB Robert Alford has 15 PD. LB Deion Jones leads all tacker with 96 bring downs and safety Keanu Neil has 92. Desmond Trufant, who has 10 PD, tops all Atlanta defenders with two picks.

Falcons Summary

  • Falcons pass D is questionable at times
  • QB Ryan not as effective as last season
  • Deep and dynamic ground attack

Three Primary Takeaways

Our New Orleans plays Atlanta 2017 Thursday Night Football pick offers these three takeaways-

  1. Both teams are holding opponent to 20.3 PPG
  2. QB edge goes to Saints
  3. Depth goes to Saints

Our Saints and Falcons Picks

In our New Orleans plays Atlanta 2017 Thursday Night Football pick, we are taking New Orleans at +2.5 We think Brees will have a good night, but we don’t believe that the point totals will be astronomical. We’re going with under 52.0 on tonight’s game. Kickoff is at 8:25 p.m. E.T.

New Orleans at Atlanta Pick Summary- Saints at +2.5 and under 52.0


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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