The Carolina Panthers have a chance to spoil the New Orleans Saints’ plans this week in this NFC South divisional battle. Sitting tied atop the NFC with a 12-3 record, the Saints lose tiebreakers against both the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers, leading to them sitting at third in the conference. If they wish to stay alive in the race to earn a first-round bye, they must win and hope at least one of the two teams above them lose. Will the pressure get to this team or will they be able to beat up on this struggling Panthers squad?
Saints at Panthers Odds and Info
All odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Opening Lines: NO -13, O/U 48.0
- Moneyline: NO: (-600) | CAR: (+470)
- Spread: NO: -13 (-110) | CAR: +13 (-110)
- Total: 46.5 – Over: (+100) | Under: (-120)
- Location: Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, NC
- Start Time: 1 pm ET
- Coverage: FOX
- New Orleans Saints: CB Eli Apple (Out), S Vonn Bell (Out), S Marcus Williams (Out), WR Michael Thomas (Q), QB Drew Brees (Q), S CJ Gardner-Johnson (Q)
- Carolina Panthers: LB Shaq Thompson (Out), WR DJ Moore (Out), TE Ian Thomas (Q), DT Kyle Love (Q), DT Gerald McCoy (Q), LB Andre Smith (Q)
Sitting at third in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints need to win and hope one of the top teams lose in order for them to claim a bye week. This is something they fully intend on playing for, so there is no plan for the Saints to be resting any players, which is an incredibly important factor when picking games this weekend. Aside from the last-second two-point loss to the 49ers, the Saints have been rolling, winning five of their past six games. Over this six-game span, they have averaged 35.3 points per game, having a player rush for at least 60 yards in every game. Defensively, they will be without three members of their secondary, but the Panthers passing attack isn’t exactly one to fear anyways.
Last week, the Carolina Panthers let rookie quarterback Will Grier make his first NFL start, and it went about as well as many expected. He threw three interceptions without a touchdown en route to losing 38-6. Grier will be under center again, and he will be without top pass catcher D.J. Moore, so there isn’t much to be excited about with this offense after Christian McCaffrey, who the Saints should be able to slow down if he is the lone weapon. Defensively, this Panthers team cannot stop the run, giving up 6.5 yards per run to running backs over the past five weeks. With will continue to be another long game for the Panthers, if they give up big chunks of yards on the ground.
- New Orleans is 5-0 against the spread (ATS) in its last five road games.
- New Orleans is 5-1 straight up in its last six games against Carolina.
- The total has hit the over in five of Carolina’s last six games against New Orleans.
- The total has hit the over in four of Carolina’s last five games.
- The all-time series between these two teams is tied, 25-25.
- Last Meeting: November 24, 2019 — The Saints defeated the Panthers, 24-17, at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
All odds taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
To Score First and Win: New Orleans Saints (-146) — As discussed above, this Saints offense has been hot, averaging 35.3 points per game over their past six games. However, they have also started games quickly, averaging 5.3 first-quarter points over their past three games. Meanwhile, the Panthers have been unable to find the scoreboard during the first quarter over the past three weeks, and there is a very strong possibility that continues this week, with Will Grier at quarterback and D.J. Moore out.
The Saints are clearly the superior team in this game. They are also the team with something to play for. New Orleans has covered the spread in each of their past five road games and, while this is a large spread, I think they will be able to cover again due to their defense holding the Panthers to a low score. Also, Carolina has lost by 20+ points in two of their last three games, showing this spread is not unreasonable.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -13
Check out our other NFL Sports Betting Guides for Week 17
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (+3)
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+12.5)
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (+6)
Washington at Dallas Cowboys (-12.5)
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (+3.5)
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-16.5)
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5)
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-1)
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-6.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (+1)
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5)
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (+3)