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Week 14 of the NFL season opens with a huge NFC South showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on “Thursday Night Football.” The Falcons are favored by one point, down one from where the line opened.

The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 53, down two points after opening at 55.

With so much at stake and the line on the move, you need to hear what SportsLine expert Mike Tierney has to say.

A veteran sportswriter with decades of experience covering the NFL, Tierney studies matchups like nobody else, and he’s used his expertise to crush NFL picks. After yet another cash on Monday night’s Steelers-Bengals game, he’s now an insane 45-20 on those selections since the start of last season. Anybody following his picks is way, way up.

Now, Tierney has analyzed every matchup, every trend, and every angle for Saints-Falcons and locked in his over-under pick.

Tierney knows these teams are synonymous with offense. The field will be littered with top NFL offensive weapons like Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones for the Falcons and Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara for the Saints.

Both squads are top 10 in the NFL in yards per game. Both are also top 15 in scoring offense, with the Saints checking in at No. 3 with an average of 29.4 points per contest. When these two teams met last year, the totals were 77 and 70 points.

But just because these teams have some serious offensive firepower doesn’t mean this year’s game is going over 53.

Atlanta’s offense comes into “Thursday Night Football” trending in the wrong direction after mustering just nine points against the Vikings in Week 13. And while Minnesota does have a top-tier defense, New Orleans comes into the game ranked 12th in the league. It’s arguably Sean Payton’s best unit in years.

And the Saints’ high-powered offense doesn’t seem to get in gear until the weekend, based on recent history. The Saints have hit the under the last four times they’ve played on Thursday nights.

Tierney has evaluated all of these angles and while he’s leaning on the Falcons to cover the spread, he knows there’s a huge x-factor that ultimately determines whether Falcons-Saints goes over or under. And he’s sharing it over at SportsLine.

So which side of the total should you back in Falcons-Saints on “Thursday Night Football?” Visit SportsLine now to see what big x-factor sends Falcons-Saints over or under, all from the expert cashing on almost 70 percent of his NFL totals picks since the start of last season.

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