NFL Wild Card Weekend: Panthers at Saints Odds, Picks, Live Score
NFC 2018 Wild Card Game Two Preview
Following a three year absence from the playoffs, the Saints face a Panthers team that missed the postseason last year partly due to a Super Bowl 50 hangover. Long time NFC rivals, first in the West and now in the South Division, this is the 47th meeting with New Orleans holding a 24-22 series lead. It is the first ever playoff meeting though. The Saints went from 7-9 to 11-5 and won the South while Carolina rebounded from a 6-10 mark to finish 11-5 and claimed the #5 NFC seed.
Opening with two tough draws, the Saints lost in Minnesota (29-19) and then at home to New England (36-20) before eight straight wins and a 3-3 season closing run. Solid in the Bayou, New Orleans was 7-1 at home and the wins were by a 31-20 average final score. Improving vastly on their +18 PF/PA differential from last season, New Orleans bumped it to +122 this year. After being posted as underdogs three time out of the gate - Drew Brees & Co. were favorites eleven times.
Carolina won 23-3 in San Francisco and 9-3 versus Buffalo to open their slate. Then, as 5.5 chalk, the Panthers lost outright 34-13 to the Saints at home. Rebounding sharply, the Cats rolled into New England and posted a 33-30 win over the Patriots. Carolina went 8-5 after that but closed their season with a 22-10 loss in Atlanta. Posting a dismal -33 PF/PA ratio last season, Carolina improved to +36. Cam Newton and Crew were pups nine times and chalk in seven contests.
FINAL SCORE: New Orleans Saints 26-13 Betting Results: Panthers ATS & Saints S/U & OVER
Moneyline: Saints -280 ML @ Bodog
Competing in the high-flying NFC South, New Orleans was straight up chalk eleven times and dogs during five contests. The Saints covered ten of eleven as money line favorites but were just 1-4 as pups. Backed by one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL, New Orleans went 7-1 at home and 4-3 on the road with the lone home loss being a 36-20 pounding by the Patriots. During their seven victories at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Saints won by ten or more points five times.
Although they had a brutal season, after their unsuccessful Super Bowl 50 run, Carolina were favorites during their first three games before having mini runs of chalk and dog weeks. The Cats were money line favorites nine times, three of them road games, and they went 6-3 in those contests. Underdogs seven times, which they are in this match, Carolina was 5-2 overall and 3-2 as visitors. Cam Newton & Crew have lost two straight in the Bayou by 31-21 and 41-38 finals counts.
Point Spread: Saints -7 (-100) @ SportsInteraction
Ranging in price from -2 all the way up to -16.5, New Orleans had a chalk line eleven times and they covered an astounding ten of them. Seven of the victories came at home and the lone loss was during a 31-24 Week 17 stumble in Tampa Bay. All the covers at home are not surprising as the Saints won those matches by a 221-144 margin. New Orleans cleanly covered the -5.5 line when they hosted Carolina during Week 13 action. The Saints can light up the scoreboard at anytime.
Bookmakers appeared to have rough time with the Panthers ATS as they were favorites nine times. Middle of the road as chalk, the Cats went 4-4-1 though they were 2-1 as road pups. Carolina was better as a dog, with a 6-2 ATS mark, and they posted wins over Tampa Bay and New England as visitors. Overall on the road, the Panthers were 5-3 ATS and were pups in five of those games. Impressive wins over the Patriots, Lions and Bucs shows the Cats can be dangerous road dogs.
Totals: OVER 47.5 (-110) O/U @ Bet635
As one would expect, with a future Hall of Fame QB like Drew Brees, the game total lines on New Orleans games were always very lofty. In fact, their lowest O/U number was 45.5 and the average over 16 games was 49.8 points. Bettor’s had a tough time with those lines as the OVER covered nine times. During home games, the OVER cashed on five occasions including the 32-21 win over the Panthers that had a 47.5 game total. The Saints rarely have trouble scoring points.
Carolina O/U numbers were somewhat lower as the Panthers matches averaged a 43.6 points. Over the course of the season, nine games went over and four of them were as visitors. The four UNDER road matches went way under as they came in a combined 77 points below the line. Carolina had a run of six straight OVER games before closing their season with two UNDER matches. The last four games in this series have gone over. Carolina's offense is the loose link to a high scoring match.
Panthers at Saints Prediction
While the other three Wild Card contests feature relative strangers squaring off, there is a ton of familiarity in this match. There is long standing belief that it is tough to beat the same NFL team three times in one season. If Carolina is going to follow that mantra, they need to stop Drew Brees who torched them with a 47-of-64 for 489 yards, four touchdowns and no INT line in the first two games. Falling behind Brees, Cam Newton passed for 350 yards with two TD and three INT.
While Brees is a huge key, the New Orleans rushing attack is one of the best in the NFL. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 3,094 total yards and 21 touchdowns. By comparison, the Panthers top backs, Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey, posted 1,818 yards and 14 scores. While New Orleans can win if they contain Cam Newton - the Panthers have a lot of weapons to cover on defense and we don’t see them getting the job done. Back the Saints ATS, S/U and bet the OVER in this contest. Check out these top online bookmakers for the best NFL playoff prices.
Category : NFLMore articles...