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2018 Handicapping Chat Week 3: NO at ATL (-3.0)
Records ATS through Week 2:
20-10-2 = Savage
18-12-2 = Katz
17-13-2 = Rabbitt
15-15-2 = RC
12-18-2 = Skol
8-1-1 = Katz
6-4-0 = Colin Cowherd
5-4-1 = RC
5-4-1 = Savage
3-5-2 = Rabbitt
3-6-1 = Skolman
RC: One of the more confusing games for me to figure out this week. One the surface, you see Drew Brees getting 3 points, and you're like 'Yes, please'...especially against a 'meh' team like Atlanta. However, the Falcons played the Saints tough all last year. The Falcons at home are pretty stable. The Saints should be 0-2 to the Bucs and Browns. Are the Saints secretly terrible? Can you pass up +3 to Brees? Do you trust the Falcons to lay 3.0 to Brees?
Katz: It's the Saints for me. I know they have looked bad, almost losing to the Browns after losing to the Bucs, but they get up for games against Atlanta. Like you said, Atlanta is a very "meh" team. The home team has won the last three, but as recently as 2016, they traded road wins. I don't trust Atlanta.
Rabbitt: This is ATL all the way for me. Atlanta might not be exciting, but they play darn good defense, and Tevin Coleman is so explosive as a lead back. I just don't see the 2018 Saints defense stopping Atlanta minus Devonte. I also think the ATL front could give some fits to the NO offense.
Savage: I don't like anything I've seen from the Saints so far. I'm about ready to metaphorically rip up my +170 to win the division ticket. When the Saints have been good under Sean Payton, they've been a dominant home team. They go 7-1 or 8-0, they don't struggle with mediocre teams like the Bucs and Browns. In the bad years with Payton, they typically have a bottom 5 defense and go 7-9 or 8-8. So far this looks like one of the bad years. I still like the talent they have on defense, but how many times have we seen this from them? They have a random year where the defense is good and then the next year they're back at the bottom of the league.
If I'm right about any of that, it means the Falcons are the better team and you're getting a nice discount with a line of -3. Sure, the Falcons aren't that exciting but they're a 10 win team because, as Rabbitt said, they play darn good defense. We saw the Browns D hold the Saints to 21 points at home and I think we could see them held under 30 again here. I'm taking Atlanta, gonna do a little more research to determine whether this is Blazing 5 material.
Skol: I’m team Saints all the way here. Atlanta’s defensive injuries didn’t hurt too bad last week against a team with a bad o-line. I think the Saints will be able to run the ball on the Falcons defense which was the key to the game plan last year to make their good defense seem great. What is the Saints defensive crime so far? Getting blind sided by Fitz, then getting burned on a deep pass vs Cleveland? The pendulum has been swinging hard on the Falcons so far this year...loved week 1, unbackable week 2, now seemingly back in everyone’s good graces. Saints at 0-2 fighting for their playoff lives...points and money line for me.
Savage: Its becoming more and more apparent during this TNF game that the Browns offensive line is terrible. 7 sacks allowed to the Steelers in week 1, 3 sacks allowed to the Saints in week 2, looking like another 4-5 sacks for the Jets. The fact that the Browns put 18 points in New Orleans and would have had 26 with a decent kicker is a bad sign for the Saints D.
RC: Someone sent me an R.J. Bell stat on the Saints that was odd/interesting...
Saints first two weeks of season (since 2014)
1-9 Against the Spread
Skol: Thank RJ Bell for sending that AFTER I got knocked out of the survivor pool. Pretty amazing how consistently bad they have been to start all of these seasons. I’m too lazy to check but the Saints defensive stats after 2 games last year had to be similar or worse than they are right now. The Vikings and Patriots murdered them weeks 1-2 last year. Falcons have so many injuries I love the Saints here. Weeks 1-2 at home expected to blow out an inferior opponent...now they get to hit the road and take on a top team that may not be with all of the injuries.
Rabbitt: The saints seem to do this from time to time. Great one year, and lay a major turd the next. I mean they were getting carved up by the browns with Tyrod... not shake and baker. I am not the worlds biggest falcons fan by any stretch, and the defensive injuries do have me concerned, but they are literally adding their 3rd or 4th best offensive player by having Tevin take more snaps. This is going to be a high scoring game. Heck, Julio might even get a TD this week... I feel pretty darn good about the falcons here.