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Falcons-Saints Week 1 Betting Odds Revealed: Who's The Favorite?

Will the Falcons enter Week 1 as favorites?

On Thursday, the NFL released each team’s 2022 schedule to the public. It was revealed that the Atlanta Falcons will be opening up the season against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 11.

Kyle Pitts
Desmond Ridder
Desmond Ridder

Despite the game being almost four months away, Las Vegas has wasted no time setting the lines. The Saints will enter enemy territory as 3.5-point favorites, with the over/under listed at 42.

The division rivals split their two matchups last season. In the first meeting, the Falcons not only covered as 6.5-point underdogs, but won outright, scoring a 27-25 road win over the Saints. The over hit in that matchup, as the projected total was 43.

The two met again in the regular season finale, with New Orleans once again entering as favorites, this time by 3.5-points. The Saints covered, scoring a 30-20 road win, and delivering another win for the over; the total closed at 40.

Since their last meeting, much has changed for both organizations. The Saints lost head coach Sean Payton to retirement in January, but stayed in-house for his replacement, promoting defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.

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New Orleans was also in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes before he opted for Cleveland, resulting in the Saints re-signing Jameis Winston, who started eight games for the team in 2021. The Saints lost left tackle Terron Armstead and safety Marcus Williams in free agency but brought in Tyrann Mathieu from the Kansas City Chiefs and Marcus Maye from the New York Jets.

In the draft, New Orleans used its three top-50 picks on wide receiver Chris Olave, offensive tackle Trevor Penning, and defensive back Alontae Taylor. The Saints will also get star wide receiver Michael Thomas back in the fold, who missed the entirety of last season with an ankle injury.

As for the Falcons, Week 1's game will be the first time they’ve played the Saints without Matt Ryan under center since December 2007, as they moved the star signal-caller to the Indianapolis Colts in March. In his place, Atlanta will likely start Mariota Mariota, whose lone appearance against the Saints came with the Tennessee Titans during his rookie season in 2015, a 34-28 overtime win in which he threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns.

Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota
Tyler Allgeier

Atlanta’s draft featured wide receiver Drake London, pass rushers Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, linebacker Troy Andersen, and quarterback Desmond Ridder.

The team won’t enter the 2022 season with immense outside but will be looking to prove people wrong from the start. It’s only fitting that the Falcons’ first opportunity will come against their biggest rival, but the early odds aren’t in Atlanta’s favor.