The country gets a first-hand look at the improved Atlanta Falcons this week, as the 5-0 Falcons are playing at New Orleans on Thursday. The Falcons are minus 3.5 points.
It’s the first time the Saints are home underdogs to the Falcons when Sean Payton has been their coach since 2006, Payton’s first season with New Orleans.
The only other time Atlanta has been road chalk versus New Orleans was 2012 when Joe Vitt was the Saints interim head coach. Payton was suspended that year for Bountygate.
The Saints have never fully recovered from Bountygate. They are 10-16 straight-up, 11-15 against the spread (ATS) during their last 26 games.
In the Saints glory years of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 under Payton they were only a home underdog once. This is the first time in three home games this season the Saints are ‘dogs.
Atlanta has outscored its opponents by 50 points. New Orleans had lost and failed to cover in its last six home games prior to defeating Brandon Weeden-led Dallas in overtime two weeks ago.
The Saints’ home mystique is shattered.
Ravens are Road Favorites in San Francisco
Speaking of lost glory, Baltimore is a 2.5-point road favorite versus San Francisco. Just three seasons ago the Ravens nipped the 49ers in an epic Super Bowl matchup, 34-31.
Both teams sit 1-4. The 49ers are in clear rebuild mode, while the Ravens trail Cincinnati by four games in the AFC North Division.
Chiefs Heading to Minnesota as Underdogs
Minnesota is gaining respect under Mike Zimmer. More evidence of that is the Vikings opening as 3.5-point favorites at home against Kansas City.
The Chiefs have been popular with bettors during the last four weeks. They were favored against Denver, bet down to just 4.5-point road underdogs against Green Bay and were only 3.5-point road ‘dogs to Cincinnati two weeks ago.
The Chiefs were as high as 10-point home favorites against Chicago this past Sunday. The Chiefs burned their backers losing and failing to cover during each of their past four games. They blew a 17-3 lead to the Bears after Jamaal Charles suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Now few want any more to do with the Chiefs.