NFL Week 3 Match Ups: New Orleans A Four-Point Favorite Without Reggie Bush Against Atlanta
September 24th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

A NFC South clash between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons takes place on Sunday afternoon in the Super Dome.  The Falcons are coming off of a big win over Arizona in which they completely dominated.  The same cannot be said for the Saints though, as they played a tight Monday Night game at San Francisco in which New Orleans needed all 60 minutes to secure the victory.

Atlanta lost a tough one in over time in Week One, but rebounded with a 41-7 thrashing of Arizona last Sunday in a game that saw quarterback Matt Ryan throw for three touchdowns.  It wasn’t all good news for the Falcons however, as running back Michael Turner left in the first half with a groin injury, and back up running back Jerious Norwood left with an injury as well.  In their place stepped Jason Snelling.  Snelling shined against the Cardinals defense, rushing for two touchdown and catching another.  Snelling’s performance was encouraging for the Atlanta offense, and they team said that Turner should be good to go this week against the Saints.

New Orleans needed every bit of the clock on Monday night against San Francisco on the road, in a 25-22 victory courtesy of a Garret Hartley 37-yard field goal as time expired.  While the Saints offense has not produced the numbers that was accustom last season, New Orleans is 2-0 on the year as they open up division play.

Looking ahead at this one for Atlanta on offense, Turner said earlier this week that he is good to go, and that the groin injury was not a tear.  That is good news for the Falcons, as Snelling’s production from last week adds yet another weapon for defenses to account for.  Look for the Falcons to run Turner, and with Ryan throwing it well, New Orleans could find it difficult to stop Atlanta.

However, the New Orleans defense is prone to creating turnovers, as was evident in their game against the 49ers.  The Saints forced four San Francisco turnovers, a statistic that proved to be a critical factor to the outcome of the game.  If the Saints can force a few turnovers in this one, quarterback Drew Brees and the offense could put up some points.

Brees and the Saints offense took a sizable hit to their play makers, as running back and return specialist Reggie Bush fractured his leg on Monday night trying to recover a punt.  This hurts New Orleans for a number of reasons.  While Bush may not be the most productive running back on the field, defense must always account and spy on him because he is one of the few players in the NFL who can break open a play every time he touches the ball.

For the Falcons on defense, a Bush-less Saints offense is easier to defend, but Brees still has six or seven receivers that he throws the ball to.  For Atlanta, it’s not about stopping the Saints, it’s about containment.  In the last four games between these teams, New Orleans has outscored Atlanta 110-109, as both teams are very close to one another.

Game Line-

USA Online Sportsbooks have set the Saints as a four-point favorite in this Week 3 NFL Match Up, with the over/under set at 49 points.

ATS Betting Trends-

NFL Betting Trends indicate that the Falcons are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games versus the NFC.  New Orleans is 2-7 ATS in their last nine games.

Over/Under Betting Trends-

the Under is 41-20-1 in Atlanta’s last 62 road games.  The Over is 6-2-1 in New Orleans last nine September match ups.

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