Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints – Week 17 Free Preview

Posts AdminArticles, Football, NFL

In the final week of the 2018 regular season, the Carolina Panthers (+8) are set to face off against the New Orleans Saints (-8) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The opening kickoff for this NFC South game is pegged for 1:00 p.m. ET and fans can catch the action by tuning in to FOX.

Betting Preview: Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Carolina is a live dog in this one and is currently getting 8 points. The Panthers are also receiving +260 moneyline odds while the Saints are -330. Oddsmakers have set the over/under (O/U) at 44.5 points. If the underdog strikes early, it will likely create a nice betting opportunity in-game.

The opening line was -8. The game’s O/U hasn’t changed after being initially set at 44.5.

The Panthers are down 4.2 units so far and 6-9 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an O/U record of 7-8.

The surprising Saints are up 6.0 units this season. They’re 10-5 ATS and have an O/U record of 6-9.

The Panthers are only 6-9 straight up (SU), including 1-4 SU against NFC South opponents. The Saints are 13-2 SU overall and 4-1 SU versus divisional foes.

Carolina enters this one on a three-game unbeaten streak while New Orleans has lost each of its last seven. The Panthers are looking to get back in stride after a 24-10 loss to Atlanta last week. Taylor Heinicke completed 33-of-53 passes for 274 yards, one score and three interceptions. Christian McCaffrey (101 yards on 21 rush attempts) mounted the ground attack. McCaffrey (12 receptions, 77 yards) and Jarius Wright (seven catches, 69 yards) shared the receiving duties in the defeat.

New Orleans is coming off of a 31-28 win over Pittsburgh last week. The defensive secondary let the Steelers air it out for 380 yards and three touchdowns. Antonio Brown was a force to be reckoned with, recording 185 yards and two touchdowns on 14 catches for Pittsburgh. For New Orleans, Drew Brees completed 27-of-39 passes for 326 yards and one touchdown. Mark Ingram (35 yards on 11 rush attempts, one TD) handled the running game as Michael Thomas (11 receptions, 109 yards, one TD) and Ted Ginn Jr. (five catches, 74 yards) led the pass-catching attack in the win.

Carolina has run the ball on 41.6 percent of its offensive possessions this year while New Orleans has an overall rush percentage of 47.2 percent. The Panthers have run for 135.0 yards per game (including 141.4 per game versus South opponents) and have 15 scores on the ground this year. The Saints are putting up 122.7 rush yards per game (118.2 in conference) and have 25 total rushing TDs.

The Panthers offense has averaged 253.5 yards in the air overall (275.0 per game against conference opposition) and has 26 passing TDs so far. The Saints have recorded 270.4 pass yards per outing (282 in the NFC) and have 32 total pass scores.

On the defensive side of the ball, Carolina should have the upper hand when it comes to limiting the pass. The team has allowed 108.0 rush yards and 262.9 pass yards per game. The New Orleans D has allowed 290.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 78.1 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Panthers have given up an ANY/A of 7.07 to opposing QBs, while the Saints are yielding an ANY/A of 6.87.

Offensively, Heinicke is up to 320 passing yards this season. He’s completed 61 percent of his 57 attempts with one scores through the air and three interceptions. Heinicke’s got a 3.19 adjusted net yards per pass attempt, including 2.58 over the last two outings.

Christian McCaffrey (1,027 rushing yards, seven rush TDs, 778 receiving yards, six receiving touchdowns on the year), Jarius Wright (406 receiving yards, one receiving TD) and Curtis Samuel (405 receiving yards, four TDs) have each played significant roles of late.

For the home team, Drew Brees has completed 341-of-454 passes for 3,789 yards, 32 TDs and four INTs. Brees’ ANY/A sits at 8.83 for the year and 6.14 across his last two games.

We expect the Saints to control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. Along with WR Michael Thomas (1,327 receiving yards, nine receiving TDs this season), Alvin Kamara (816 rush yards, 13 rush TDs, 673 receiving yards, four receiving TDs) and Mark Ingram (554 rush yards, six rush TDs, one TD) have really been key factors in the New Orleans offense.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints NFL Pick

SU Winner: Saints, ATS Winner: Panthers, O/U: Under

Team Betting Trends

  • The New Orleans D has tallied 48 sacks on the year while Carolina has just 33.
  • New Orleans has lost nine fumbles this season while Carolina has lost six.
  • The Panthers offense has created four pass plays of 40+ yards, while the Saints have accounted for five such plays.
  • The Carolina defense has allowed 12 pass plays of 40+ yards, while New Orleans has given up 13 such plays.
  • The Carolina offense has created 13 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while New Orleans has created six such runs.
  • The Panthers defense has allowed 13 rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Saints have given up six such runs.
  • The Over/Under for New Orleans’ last outing was set at 53. The over cashed in the team’s 31-28 victory over Pittsburgh.
  • In its last three contests, New Orleans is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
  • Over its last three matchups, Carolina is 1-2 ATS and the under cashed in each of those three.
  • New Orleans has won 14 of its last 15 games SU, with a -3-point loss to Dallas on November 29th accounting for the lone slip-up over that span.
  • The Over/Under for Carolina’s previous game was 46. The under cashed in the team’s 24-10 loss to Atlanta.
  • Carolina has averaged 4.6 yards per carry over its past three contests and 5.0 over its last two.
  • New Orleans has averaged 3.9 yards per carry over its last three matchups and 4.2 over its last two.