The New Orleans Saints will travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers for a Sunday afternoon NFL matchup at Bank of America Stadium. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our NFL odds series, which includes a Saints-Panthers prediction and pick, laid out below.
New Orleans is 1-1 in the first season since Sean Payton stepped down as head coach. In his place is Dennis Allen, who spent two full seasons and part of a third leading the Raiders from 2012-2014. Allen had been the team’s defensive coordinator since the 2015 season, making the transition of power easier.
Carolina has lost two close, heartbreaking games on the season, going 0-2 despite both games being decided by five points combined. Head coach Matt Rhule has spent the offseason and early part of this season firmly on the hot seat, with rumors surrounding open college jobs swirling.
Here are the Saints-Panthers NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Saints-Panthers Odds
New Orleans Saints: -2.5 (-108)
Carolina Panthers: +2.5 (-112)
Over: 41.5 (-108)
Under: 41.5 (-112)
Why The Saints Could Cover The Spread
Jameis Winston has taken the reins of New Orleans’ quarterback following the retirement of Drew Brees. Winston was once the first overall pick, so there certainly is plenty of talent at the position. Winston has thrown for 505 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions, completing 65 percent of his passes. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have split duties in the backfield, although Kamara may miss a second game with rib issues. The two have combined for 119 rushing yards. Taysom Hill, the team’s Swiss Army Knife, leads the team with 95 rushing yards and a touchdown, also hauling in one pass. Jarvis Landry leads the team with 11 catches for 139 yards. Michael Thomas has also caught 11 passes, for 122 yards and all three of Winston’s touchdown passes. The team ranks 19th in the league, averaging 18.5 points per game.
New Orleans’ defense has been strong in years past under Dennis Allen, which is why their 23 points allowed per game is confusing. Pete Werner leads the team with 21 tackles and has forced a fumble and broken up a pass. New Orleans has not registered an interception but has recovered three fumbles this season. New Orleans has totaled just one sack this season, with Shy Tuttle and David Onyemata sharing that sack.
Why The Panthers Could Cover The Spread
Carolina was heavily involved in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes this offseason, losing out and landing Baker Mayfield instead. Mayfield has thrown for 380 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in his first season in Carolina. Mayfield has added 41 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. Christian McCaffrey is the offense’s headliner, leading the team with 135 rushing yards and a touchdown. McCaffrey is also tied for the team lead with eight catches. Robbie Anderson also has hauled in eight passes, leading the team with 134 receiving yards and a touchdown. DJ Moore has caught the team’s other touchdown.
The defense has been okay for the team, surrendering 22.5 points per game, which ranks 18th in the league. Xavier Woods leads the team with 21 tackles and one of the six passes broken up. Brian Burns, a dominant defensive end, leads the team with two sacks, accounting for half of the team’s total. Carolina has not forced a turnover this season.
Final Saints-Panthers Prediction & Pick
After watching Carolina against the Giants last weekend, I cannot have much faith in them for this one.
Final Saints-Panthers Prediction & Pick: New Orleans -2.5 (-108), over 41.5 (-108)