Thursday Night NFL Picks: Saints vs. Falcons Props & Predictions 11/29

Last Updated: November 21st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Full Saints vs. Falcons NFL Prop Sheet Listed Below

Atlanta Falcons MascotThe Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are set to continue the 2012 NFL season, and as a part of our analysis of the Week 13 betting lines, we are taking a look at some of the best NFL props on the board for this crucial Thursday Night Football matchup.

Will the First Score of the Game Be a Touchdown?: One blush would suggest that the sharp play is to bet on the first score of this game to be a touchdown and not a field goal, almost regardless of the price. That’s exactly what the oddsmakers are hoping that you do. They want you to look and see that the Saints have scored 39 TDs against just nine field goals this year and immediately figure touchdown. What you should be seeing though, are the 31 Atlanta TDs this year against 26 field goals for K Matt Bryant. What you should be seeing are the 21 field goal attempts that Bryant has had in his last six games against the 14 TDs that have been scored in that same stretch. The Atlanta defense allowed three field goals last week and four the week before, and it is starting to really seem like that the first score of this game at least has a fighting chance of being a field goal (or a safety) instead of a touchdown. First Score of the Game Not A Touchdown (+170)

Drew Brees Pass Completions Over/Under 26.5: Brees has completed at least 448 passes in each of his last two years, numbers which are out of this world. That’s an average of 28.6 completions per game. This year, that number has cut back quite a bit to just 25.1 completions per game. Brees also hasn’t completed more than 26 passes in a game in four straight weeks, and that includes a game against these Falcons. The running game is getting more and more involved as the weeks go by, and there is no reason not to think, especially for as bad as the New Orleans defense has been, that Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt won’t want to see more of that in this week’s game plan as well. Sure, if the Saints are playing catch-up, they’re going to be relying on Brees throwing the ball all over the place. However, he was playing catch-up all week last week and only went 26-of-41 in spite of the fact that the Saints dominated the possession. This just isn’t a slam dunk to see Brees get to 27 completions. Drew Brees Under 26.5 Pass Completions (-105)

Marques Colston Receptions Over/Under 5: Colston is one of the top receivers on this New Orleans outfit, but the likelihood that he beats us on this prop just isn’t there. Over the course of the last few weeks, it has been WR Lance Moore and WR Joe Morgan that have been getting more looks, taking away from the likelihood that Colston gets his targets. Sure, the Hofstra grad has had five, six, six, and four targets over the course of the last four weeks, but he isn’t catching everything coming his way. We could very much so see this prop ending on a push at five catches, but to see that sixth catch really doesn’t seem all that likely, especially after Colston had just three catches for 26 yards and a TD in the first meeting of these two teams this year. Marques Colston Under 5 Receptions (-130)

Jimmy Graham Receptions Over/Under 5.5: Now here’s a prop that we prefer. Graham really has been relatively quiet these last two weeks, but he stormed to seven catches, 144 yards, and two TDs when he played against these Falcons three weeks ago. There is no doubt that with TE Rob Gronkowski on the sidelines, that Graham is the most productive tight end in football, and we expect to see another great game out of the Miami product once again in this one. Brees has sort of gotten away from his big target in the middle of the field these last couple of weeks, and it has led to lesser numbers for them both. We expect to see a tremendously different story this time around when these two get on the field now against the Falcons. Jimmy Graham Over 5.5 Receptions (-115)

Matt Ryan Passing Yards Over/Under 313.5: It’s really hard to feel like Matty Ice is going to stay beneath this number, especially knowing that the emphasis has really been there on the passing game as opposed to the rushing game over the course of the last four weeks. In all four games, Ryan has eclipsed this number, and that includes when he went for over 400 yards against the Saints a few weeks back. However, Atlanta has been playing either from behind or in tight games or from way behind in those, and though we aren’t handicapping the game by any stretch of the imagination, we are still figuring that this one isn’t going to be a game in which the Falcons are going to have to fight back from down 20 to try to come back and win. It’s a tough number to try to reach for any quarterback more often than not, and we think that Ryan is going to fall short of the 300-yard threshold in this game. Matt Ryan Under 313.5 Passing Yards (-105)

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Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 @ 10:35 am (EST)
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