Falcons vs Saints Week 15 Picks and Predictions: Scoring Hard to Come By Here

Andy Dalton's never inspired too much confidence, and Desmond Ridder's debut shouldn't scare the Saints D. Find out why this game's points should be at a premium as our NFL picks see the Falcons visit New Orleans.

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2022 8:28 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints
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Week 15 offers us an NFC South clash between the 5-8 Atlanta Falcons and 4-9 New Orleans Saints. 

Both teams enter Sunday coming off a bye week, hoping to end two-game losing streaks — Atlanta suffered a Week 13 home loss to Pittsburgh, and New Orleans fell to the Buccaneers in Tampa 17-16.

Who will win this NFC South tilt? Find out in our free NFL picks and predictions for Falcons vs. Saints on Sunday, December 18.

Falcons vs Saints best odds

Falcons vs Saints picks and predictions

The Falcons' offense has failed to score 17 points, or more in four of their last five, starting QB Marcus Mariota is on the IR, and the Desmond Ridder era is set to begin. Ridder was the Falcons’ third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Cincinnati alum will be making his first appearance for Atlanta.

Ridder doesn’t have that much to work with — Cordarrelle Patterson started off the season on fire but got injured and cooled off. Rookie RB Tyler Allgeier has been solid, and WRs Drake London and Olimide Zaccheaus have combined for 1,011 yards and six TD receptions. TE Kyle Pitts struggled before being lost to injury, and the offensive line allows nearly three sacks per game.

The Saints' defense is 15th in defensive DVOA and allows the 17th most points per game. New Orleans is better against the pass than the run — the Saints are 12th in passing DVOA but 21st against the rush. Ridder will likely be on the run as the Saints average 2.6 sacks per game, and it will be a frustrating debut.

New Orleans isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, either. It’s failed to meet its 20-point average in four of the last five, QB Jameis Winston is on the team but doesn’t play, RB Alvin Kamara has put up pedestrian numbers, and All-Pro WR Michael Thomas has played just three games.

The Saints have been unlucky with injuries, but Andy Dalton is proving he can still play in the NFL. The “Red Rocket” has slung it for 2,252 yards with 15 TDs and seven interceptions. Rookie WR Chris Olave leads the team in targets and receptions, with only three TDs to his credit. The offensive line allows 2.5 sacks per game, but at least faces a Falcons defense that is 31st in sacks. 

Atlanta is 30th in defensive DVOA but is slightly better against the run than the pass. The Falcons are 30th in passing, 28th against the rush, and 22nd in scoring. 

Ridder could be the answer, but his team isn’t very good, and will struggle moving the ball against a good Saints defense playing at home. Allgeier and Patterson could eat, but New Orleans defends the pass well, and we won’t see many points coming from Atlanta. 

New Orleans has struggled to score, and the Falcons' defense will slow the Saints' ground game, Dalton has weapons, but he’s a game manager, and whatever he gets in the air won’t have that much of an impact on the scoreboard. Look for this NFC South matchup to be a low-scoring dogfight, and I’m going Under 43.4.

My best bet: Under 43.5 (-110 at Caesars)

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Falcons vs Saints spread analysis

The Saints are a -3.5 favorite, and I lean toward the Saints covering the number. 

Ridder was great at Cincinnati, and I suspect he’ll be fun to watch play in the NFL. The Falcons' offense has struggled this season, and Ridder making his first start on the road behind a shaky offensive line isn’t where I want to put my money Sunday.

After starting the season 6-0 ATS, the Falcons are 1-6 ATS over their past seven contests and 0-4 ATS over their previous four as underdogs.

Atlanta doesn’t score much, but ranks ninth in red zone efficiency, taking on the less-than-efficient 22nd-ranked Saints red zone offense. 

It’s hard not laying the 3.5 and rolling with New Orleans to cover. Atlanta starts a rookie QB for a stalled offense facing a league-average defense playing at home. The Saints offense isn’t the next best thing to sliced bread, but it is playing a lousy defense, and Dalton will figure out a way to keep this beyond a field goal.

Falcons vs Saints Over/Under analysis

I like the Under as my best bet for this game, and I have some additional notes:

Atlanta is scoring an average of 17.6 over their last five, facing a struggling Saints offense averaging a paltry 13.2 points per matchup. 

Four of the past five for both teams have ended Under 43.5. These teams don’t score, but they haven’t allowed that many. Atlanta has allowed 24 or more points twice in its last five, and New Orleans has yielded 22 or more points twice in its past five.

The Over is 2-2 during the Falcons' four NFC South contests this season, and the Over is 1-3 in the Saints’ four divisional matchups.

Falcons vs Saints betting trend to know

The Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in New Orleans. Find more NFL betting trends for Eagles vs. Bears.

Falcons vs Saints game info

Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Date: Sunday, December 18, 2022
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Saints -3.5, 42

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