Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints odds: NFL Week 1 point spread, money line, point totals

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The Falcons open the 2022 season in Atlanta, hosting the New Orleans Saints. The showdown of division rivals will square off on Sunday, Sept. 11, with former No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota leading their respective teams. The Saints’ offense has plenty of question marks in a world without Sean Payton and Drew Brees, but their defense is as formidable as any in the league. On the other hand, the Falcons are entering a new era themselves without Matt Ryan. There are a few potentially interesting figures to win some money, so let’s check them out.

Falcons, Saints odds courtesy of Bet MGM via PFF.

Spread Total Moneyline
New Orleans Saints -5.5 (-110) o42.5 (-110) -225
Atlanta Falcons +5.5 (-110) u42.5 (-110) +185

The Saints are 5.5-point road favorites, which means they’re likely close to a touchdown favorite on a neutral site. The spread opened at -3.5, so the public is heavy on New Orleans, betting the spread up two points.

The Falcons are +185 underdogs to win outright at home, which could be an intriguing wager to sprinkle if you’re looking for a bit of a longshot. Despite having a much inferior roster than New Orleans, Atlanta does have a few things working for them in this game that would make a Moneyline play potentially lucrative.

First, the Saints are entering the first season in more than a decade without Sean Payton at the helm, which cannot be overlooked. He’s one of the greatest offensive minds in football, and Dennis Allen’s expertise lies on the defensive side of the ball. The Saints’ defense shouldn’t miss a step, which will provide challenges for Arthur Smith’s offense, but the offense could be slow out of the gate under a new offensive coordinator and play caller.

The Falcons are entering the second season under Arthur Smith, which means a year of experience in these systems. Atlanta has been one of the worst pass protecting units in football for much of the last decade, and the Saints’ front seven has been unruly. This season, things should be different. The Falcons’ offensive line should be incrementally better with Jalen Mayfield out of the lineup, but the mobility of Marcus Mariota will be the more notable difference.

The game’s over/under point total is set at a measly 42.5 points. At first glance, the under is the play. Both of these offenses should struggle out of the gate, but we know how ineffective the Falcons’ defense has been in the past. It almost seems too good to be true; I would stay away from the total and look for the Falcons to cover the spread.

At the very least, the Falcons will be great candidates for a backdoor cover with Marcus Mariota and Arthur Smith’s pesky tendency to not go down easily, regardless of the score.

Photographer: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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