Greg Cote

Drew Brees and Matt Ryan renew rivalry. Here’s why underdog is the pick

Saints’ Drew Brees and Falcons’ Matt Ryan renew their long rivalry Thursday night. Atlanta is a rare home underdog, but Greg Cote thinks Ryan will prevail.
Saints’ Drew Brees and Falcons’ Matt Ryan renew their long rivalry Thursday night. Atlanta is a rare home underdog, but Greg Cote thinks Ryan will prevail. AP

GREG COTE’S NFL PICK

SAINTS (9-3) at FALCONS (7-5)

LINE: NO by 1 1/2.

COTE’S PICK: ATL 34-30.

TV: 8:25 p.m. Thursday, NBC/NFL.

Here's a hunch pick to open NFL Week 14 in what could be King Sport's Game of the Week. It's a hunch because Saints as a slight road favorite in this big NFC South match stands on some logic. N'Awlins has won seven of past 11 trips to the 404 and is better this year, more balanced, with a running game and a defense helping to lighten Drew Brees' load. No wonder the line opened even and then swung to the Fleur de Lis. Saints have a dynamite ground game in Mark Ingram and fantasy beast Alvin Kamara, and Falcons present only an average run defense. Nevertheless! Atlanta, as a home 'dog for the first time this year, will play as the more desperate team it is. And Matt Ryan usually is really good (30 career TD throws and only eight picks) vs. his biggest rival. Hunch don't fail me now.

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