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Free Pick: New Orleans 8-8 at Atlanta 7-9 1/9/22
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: New Orleans 8-8 at Atlanta 7-9 1/9/22

This is a key game with playoff implications for the Saints. If they win, and the 49ers lose, at Los Angeles, New Orleans nails down a playoff spot. They seem to be as healthy as they have been in the last two or three weeks and their chances look pretty good. Meanwhile, Atlanta is playing for pride and hoping to be a spoiler. It remains to be seen how motivated they are.


Atlanta: Total Team Points 16.5 The Falcons have struggles all year on offense and averaging only 18 points and 322 total yards per game. The running game is nonexistent and too much pressure has been put on the shoulders of an aging Matt Ryan. He has played adequately; he just doesn’t have any help. The Saints’ defense has been stout and should be ready for a big game. I will take Atlanta UNDER 16.5 team points.

New Orleans: 22.5 Total Team Points The Saints are averaging 21 points per game, and their offense is their weakness. They have had health and injury problems at quarterback and four different players have started at that important position. Look for a heavy dose of Alvin Kamara running the ball, and an offense that doesn’t turn the it over. I’ll take New Orleans UNDER 22.5 team points.

OVER/UNDER 40 Combined Team Point Totals: This should be low-scoring and the defenses should control the game. I’m staying away from this line.

POINT SPREAD: New Orleans is a 4.5-point favorite There is absolutely no reason that the Saints aren’t ready to play this game. How much Atlanta cares will determine the score. The Falcons are good enough to win, but when push comes to shove, will they wilt in the end.

AARON’S PICK: New Orleans OVER 22.5 team points

PAPA DUDES PICK: New Orleans -4.5

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