Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders (6-4) will try to bounce back from a bitter 35-31 home loss to Kansas City on Sunday night when they make their first trip to Atlanta since 2012. The all-time series is tied at 7-7 but Atlanta has won the last four meetings including a 35-28 victory in 2016 in Oakland in Week 2 when wide receiver Justin Hardy caught a deflected eight-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score.

Matt Ryan, who threw for three touchdowns in the contest, had his third-down pass for Tevin Coleman broken up but the ball bounced high in the air and Hardy caught it in the end zone to give Atlanta a 28-21 lead. Quarterback Derek Carr played well in that loss to the Falcons, completing 34 of 45 passes for 299 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Carr has been outstanding for the Raiders this season completing 219 of 314 passes for 2,431 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has been helped by the surprisingly strong play of an offensive line that most of the season has been without two starters in right tackle Trent Brown (COVID-19) and left guard Richie Incognito (Achilles) but still has paved the way for Josh Jacobs to rush for 755 yards and nine touchdowns.

The defense is allowing 385.8 yards per game and missed defensive end Cle Ferrell in the loss to the Chiefs, who rushed for 108 yards and three touchdowns. Ferrell, sidelined by COVID-19, could be back Sunday. Maxx Crosby, the team’s other starting defensive end, has six of the Raiders’ 11 sacks this season.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons (3-7), last in the NFC South, limp in off an ugly 24-9 loss at New Orleans. Ryan was sacked eight times and took 11 quarterback hits while completing just 19 of 37 passes for 232 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating of 48.5 was his lowest since a 47.2 pass rating in a 27-13 loss to Arizona on Oct. 27, 2013.

Despite the poor outing at New Orleans, Ryan still ranks third in the NFL with 2,978 passing yards. He needs just 22 more yards Sunday to become the eighth quarterback in NFL history with 11 consecutive seasons with 3,000 or more passing yards. However, he could be without seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones (45 catches, 677 yards, three TDs) who interim coach Raheem Morris said would be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury.

Atlanta’s defense has limited opponents to just 102.8 yards rushing per game, which ranks ninth in the NFL and should get a boast with the return of defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. from the COVID-19 list. Linebacker Foyesade Oluokum leads the team in tackles (69) and has also forced three fumbles. Three players have at least three sacks, led by linebacker Deion Jones (3.5) while corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson tops the team with two interceptions.

Raiders at Falcons Betting Pick for Week 12

After going 2-1 in three consecutive games against AFC West opponents and almost getting a sweep before the late loss to the Chiefs, Las Vegas must avoid a letdown with back-to-back road trips to Atlanta and New York to face the winless Jets (0-10).

Head coach Jon Gruden is trying his best to keep his team focused, calling Atlanta “the best 3-7 team I’ve ever seen.” Still, the turnaround after a tough, emotional loss to the reigning Super Bowl champs followed by a three time-zone trip east and an early kickoff (10 a.m. PT) won’t be easy.

Atlanta has won four in a row in the series with the last Raiders win coming on Nov. 26, 2000 in Oakland, 41-14 behind the play of quarterback Rich Gannon, who threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 64 yards. The Falcons are just 1-4 at home this season with the lone victory coming two weeks ago against Denver 34-27.

Still, they figure to take advantage of a weak Las Vegas secondary and pass rush that is allowing 273.6 yards per game, fifth-worst in the NFL.

Raiders at Falcons Betting PickRaiders 35, Falcons 28

Raiders at Falcons Best Bet for Week 12

Neither team figures to be able to stop the other, especially if Jones plays, which makes the fact the opening total of 56 has been bet down to 54 a little baffling. The Raiders are 6-1 to the over in their last seven games against a team with a losing record and are 4-1 to the over in their last five games on the road, with the lone exception a 16-6 win at rainy and windy Cleveland on Nov. 1.

Raiders at Falcons Best Bet: OVER 54 total points (-106)

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Betting Preview

Sunday, November 22, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1 p.m. ET

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Betting Preview: Falcons (+4.5/-105), Saints (-4.5/-115)

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons don’t have to face Drew Brees, but they weren’t fazed the last time they faced him in the Superdome. It was Brees’ second game back from a five-game absence due to thumb surgery and the Falcons ended the Saints’ six-game winning streak with a dominant 26-9 triumph last season.

Atlanta is familiar with both Jameis Winston, from his time in Tampa Bay, and Taysom Hill, who both figure to see action in place of Brees, who is sidelined indefinitely by rib and lung injuries.

The Falcons are 3-6, but they are 2-1 after winning their last two under interim head coach Raheem Morris going into their bye last week. Their passing game is still one of the most dangerous in the NFL with Matt Ryan throwing to Julio Jones, though Calvin Ridley’s availability is uncertain due to a foot injury.

In his last four games, Ryan has completed 72.8 percent for an average of 318.5 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Todd Gurley has nine rushing touchdowns but is averaging just 3.7 yards per attempt. Since Morris took over, Atlanta is allowing the third-fewest rushing yards per game (86.5) and the fifth-lowest third-down conversion percentage (32.6).

New Orleans Saints

The Saints (7-2) went 5-0 without Brees last season, but that was with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 63 yards while playing most of the second half in Brees’ absence after the injury against San Francisco last week. Hill ran eight times for 45 yards and lost a fumble.

Whoever plays quarterback will rely heavily on running back Alvin Kamara, who is No. 2 in NFL in yards from scrimmage, and All-Pro wideout Michael Thomas. Kamara is averaging 4.7 yards per rush, has caught 67 passes and has scored touchdowns on seven rushes and four receptions. Thomas, who is recovering from ankle and hamstring injuries that sidelined him for more than a month, had 13 catches for 152 yards in the loss to the Falcons last season. New Orleans won the rematch 26-16 on Thanksgiving to clinch its third consecutive NFC South title.

The Saints have won six straight and the defense has been exceptional in the last two games. They have seven takeaways (two by special teams) in the last two games and rank second in run defense.

Falcons at Saints Betting Pick for Week 11

Kamara is having an MVP-caliber season and the defense is getting healthier and better, which will help mitigate Brees’ absence. Kicker Wil Lutz, punter Thomas Morstead and All-Pro return specialist Deonte Harris will help put New Orleans over the top.

Falcons at Saints Betting Pick:

Saints 26, Falcons 24

Falcons at Saints Best Bet for Week 11

Brees’ absence will be felt most in the red zone, where touchdowns will be less likely than field goals. Both teams have been playing their best defense of the season of late, so don’t look for a shootout.

Falcons at Saints Best Bet:

UNDER 50.5 total points (-110)