Falcons-Saints Monday night betting primer

History could be made Monday night in New Orleans as Saints quarterback Drew Brees needs just 305 passing yards to break Dan Marino’s record-setting 1984 mark of 5,084.

Drew BreesICONDrew Brees looks to make history Monday night in New Orleans.

Don’t be fooled. While 305 yards may seem like a lot, it’s a mark that Brees has eclipsed in 11 of 14 games this season. The Pro Bowl quarterback is averaging 341.4 passing yards per game in 2011, so you know the Falcons secondary is bracing for a stiff test at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday night.

MNF Prop Bet (PinnacleSports.com)

Who will throw for more yards on Monday night?

Drew Brees: -46.5 (-157)
Matt Ryan: +46.5 (+134)

In addition to Brees, fantasy owners should pay close attention to Atlanta running back Michael Turner, who has torched the Saints defense in his last two games at New Orleans. In those two outings, Turner has carried the ball 50 times for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

MNF Prop Bet (PinnacleSports.com)

Will Michael Turner score a touchdown?

YES: +105
NO: -123

With all this offensive firepower sharing the same field, it’s no wonder the total for this game opened at 53.

CLICK HERE for the Monday night football lines.

ATLANTA FALCONS (9-5, 4-3 road) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-3, 6-0 home)

Time: 8:30pm ET (ESPN)
Opening line: New Orleans -6.5/53
Current line: New Orleans -7/52
Current betting trends: 74% backing the Saints, 82% backing the OVER.

Atlanta Falcons: 6-7-1 against the spread, UNDER is 9-5
New Orleans Saints: 10-4 against the spread, OVER is 7-7

KEY TRENDS

1. The Falcons are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 December games.
2. The Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last five Monday night games.
3. The Saints are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as a favorite.
4. The Saints are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.
5. The UNDERDOG is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams.
6. The Falcons are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games at New Orleans.
7. The UNDER is 8-2 in the Falcons’ last ten games overall.
8. The OVER is 6-2 in the Saints’ last eight Monday night games.

INJURY REPORT

ATLANTA FALCONS: DOUBTFUL: CB Kelvin Hayden (toe), WR Kerry Meier (groin), LB Stephen Nicholas (toe), QUESTIONABLE: CB Brent Grimes (knee), PROBABLE: DE John Abraham (not injury related), WR Harry Douglas (groin), TE Tony Gonzalez (not injury related), LB Curtis Lofton (ankle), C Todd McClure (not injury related), CB Christopher Owens (hand), DT Corey Peters (knee), RB Jason Snelling (illness), T Will Svitek (groin), RB Michael Turner (groin)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: DOUBTFUL: LB Jonathan Casillas (knee), RB Mark Ingram (toe), QUESTIONABLE: WR Lance Moore (hamstring), PROBABLE: DT Sedrick Ellis (hamstring), G Jahri Evans (knee), DT Aubrayo Franklin (ankle), LB Ramon Humber (knee), LB Jonathan Vilma (knee)

ANALYSIS

Ever since their shocking upset loss at St. Louis back on October 30, the New Orleans Saints have been unstoppable. Sean Payton’s crew has covered the spread in six straight games and looks to lock up the NFC South Monday night with a win over visiting Atlanta.

The Falcons have lost seven of their last nine showdowns with the Saints dating back to 2007, but you have to remember that Atlanta knows how to keep it close. Four of their last five losses to New Orleans have come by four or fewer points.

Matt RyanICONMatt Ryan and the Falcons travel to New Orleans as 7-point underdogs.

Ask any current or former player to tell you what it’s like playing a road game at New Orleans and you’ll likely elicit a variety of responses from “damn near impossible” to “it’s the hardest road game in the league.” The Saints are 23-7 at home since 2008 and 6-0 against the spread at home in 2011. Meanwhile, the Falcons are just 3-4 ATS on the road this year and 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams with a winning record.

This line held steady at NO -6.5 all week until about noon eastern on Monday when books across the country bumped it to NO -7. As of the time this article was published, 74% of the public was backing the Saints.

As for the total, 80% of the public has already gotten down on the OVER, but be advised that this line has dropped from 53 to 52, which likely means the bigger money is coming in on the UNDER.

Remember, the UNDER is 8-2 in the Falcons’ last ten games overall and 13-3 in the Saints’ last 16 games against NFC South opponents.

The picks: New Orleans (buy it down to -6.5) and the UNDER (52).

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Upcoming Games

Aug 5th, 8:00 PM

Dallas +1.5 -110

Pittsburgh -1.5 -110

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Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Washington -2.5 -110

New England +2.5 -110

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Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Pittsburgh +1 -110

Philadelphia -1 -110

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