There isn't a team in the world hotter than the New Orleans Saints, who have won nine straight and spent the last month laying waste to some of the best competition the NFC has to offer. The last team they weren't able to beat in regulation was the Atlanta Falcons, who come to town for the Thanksgiving nightcap hoping to find the formula to outscore the Saints in the Superdome. The Falcons offense has been in a bit of a funk of late, failing to reach 20 points in either of their past two games. That's certainly not going to cut it in this matchup, with oddsmakers setting the total score for this game around 60.
You can stream the game on fuboTV (Try for free), but you're here because you want to know which team is going to cover in this matchup. You can find all our expert picks for the game below.
What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 12? And which Super Bowl contender gets a huge scare? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years.
Listen to Will Brinson and Jason La Canfora break this game down on Wednesday's Pick Six podcast:
Falcons at Saints
- Time: Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
- Open: Saints -10
- Current: Saints -12.5
"Get ready for some offensive fireworks. The Atlanta offense hasn't been as good the past few weeks, but I think they will get back on track here. Matt Ryan and Drew Brees will have a fun shootout to watch, but the Saints are the better team and will win a high-scoring game." -- Pete Prisco on why than the spread indicates
"OK OK OK OK OK FINE. I GIVE UP. I'll stop picking against the Saints. Drew Brees and Sean Payton are on a tour of absolute destruction right now and there's no reason to think the Falcons can a) slow them down, b) stay within 14 points of the Saints or c) magically convince them to take it easy on their hated rival. Payton wants Brees to win the MVP and he's going to let him keep slinging it." -- Will Brinson on why he's finally jumping on the Saints' covered wagon
When it comes to Falcons vs. Saints on Thursday night, you need to hear what SportsLine senior analyst and Saints expert Larry Hartstein has to say. Hartstein is an insane 16-5 in his last 21 picks involving the Saints after easily nailing New Orleans (-9) over Philly last week. "The Eagles won't get any gifts from Drew Brees, who's accounted for 24 TDs and one turnover. No way am I bucking a Saints team playing with urgency to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Lay it," urged Hartstein. The result? Saints 48, Eagles 7 -- another easy cash! Find out who Hartstein is taking against the spread over at SportsLine. You can also check out what the SportsLine Projection Model thinks about the final score, total and moneyline odds.
"The Falcons' season isn't officially over but we all know how this ends. The Saints have scored at least 45 points in each of the last three games and have a strong case that they're the NFL's best team, over both the Rams and the Chiefs. And unlike L.A. and Kansas City, New Orleans' defense has improved in recent weeks, allowing just 14 points to the Bengals in Week 10 and seven points to the Eagles last Sunday. Still, the Falcons are 3-3 in their last three meetings (including two wins in New Orleans), and the average margin of defeat has been 6.7 points. That could change on Thursday." -- Ryan Wilson, who the spread
"Hopefully, no one's drinking every time the Saints score this year, because that couldn't possibly be good for your health. The Saints lead the NFL with 37.8 points per game and that number doesn't appear to be going down anytime soon. The Saints have been especially impressive over the past three weeks, averaging 48 points per game. A big part of that is because of Drew Brees, who's thrown 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions over that span. Brees might throw 11 touchdown passes on Thursday alone, and that's because he gets to go up against an Atlanta defense that's the fourth-worst in the NFL against the pass. You know what, Falcons fans? You might want to grab a drink too, because it could be a long night." -- John Breech, whobut the Falcons cover