NFL Week 1 Picks: Saints vs Falcons Odds

matt ryanWith the Falcons coming off a disastrous 2013 season and the Saints primed for what many believe will be a Super Bowl run, it is hardly shocking that New Orleans is laying points in Sunday’s meeting between the two NFC South rivals at the Georgia Dome. According to the latest NFL Week 1 Picks from the line is three, to be exact, and the game total is a whopping 51 points (Over and Under are each drawing -110 NFL Odds).

Atlanta entered its 2013 campaign with tremendously high hopes and for good reason. The Falcons were coming off a 13-3 season and they nearly reached the Super Bowl, falling just short against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

It did not take long for Falcons expectations to find the ground, though. Atlanta split its first two games, but proceeded to lose eight of its next nine en route to a 4-12 record.

The team is hoping its fall from grace was anomalous and it certainly appeared that way, as Matt Ryan and company had averaged 11.2 wins per season the previous five years. Atlanta is, no doubt, motivated to prove as much, starting this weekend against a Saints team that has already been anointed the division championship.

While most would agree New Orleans is the superior team both on paper and on the field, there are reasons to like the Falcons this weekend. Aside from the aforementioned motivational factors, Atlanta has been a really good home team with Mike Smith on the sidelines and Ryan under center.

The Falcons are 37-14 at the Georgia Dome since the duo arrived in the Peach State and five of those losses came during last year’s unexpected downturn. But those 2013 setbacks, save a 33-10 one to the Seahawks, were hard earned by the Falcons opposition. The Jets, Saints and Panthers combined to beat a hosting Atlanta team by seven points and the Patriots escaped the Georgia Dome with a 30-23 win after being out-gained 457 to 448 yards by the Falcons.

So if you’re looking for a little dog with bite this weekend, you could do worse than the Dirty Birds.

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NFL Week 1 Picks Saints vs Falcons Odds:

New Orleans Saints -3 (+100), Over 51 (-110)

Atlanta Falcons +3 (-110), Under 51 (-110)