The New Orleans Saints (8-2) will host the Carolina Panthers (5-5) in an NFC South showdown at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. The game will be crucial for the Panthers if they want to keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive.
The Saints will be looking to extend their lead in the South, and if they can continue to win, they have a chance to play one or more of their games at home, which is huge incentive. So who has the edge in this one? Here’s a preview followed by game trends and our prediction.
Quarterback Kyle Allen has had a rough couple of weeks. He is coming off a four-interception performance against the Atlanta Falcons last week, and he has 14 turnovers compared to just 10 touchdown passes. He will have to limit turnovers in this game if the Panthers want a shot.
Carolina’s offense goes through Christian McCaffrey, and if he can get going, the Panthers could score some points. If the Saints can stop him, however, the Panthers have very little hope in this one. He will be facing a defense that is allowing 85.3 yards rushing and just under 20 points a game, so that matchup is key.
On defense, Carolina has been all over the map this season. They’re tied for the league lead in sacks with 39, but they’re allowing 25.7 points and 362 total yards a game, and they have to face Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara.
The Saints bounced back last week after an embarrassing home loss Week 10 to the Falcons, and they are not going to be overlooking this Carolina team. Drew Brees said this week that his team will be ready for a fight: “There is a lot at stake,” Brees said. “Listen, these are divisional games. We’re fighting to win the division. They are fighting to be in contention as well. This is one of those games.”
The Saints will rely heavily on their excellent defense led by Cam Jordan, who has 9.5 sacks on the season. They could be without their top corner Marshon Lattimore, however, as Lattimore is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Trends, Pick and Prediction
Spread: Carolina +10
Over/Under: 46 points
Odds Shark currently has the Saints winning the game by a projected score of 37-7, with New Orleans covering the spread and the total score going under 46 points.
Some relevant trends surrounding the game courtesy of Odds Shark:
* The total has gone OVER in 4 of Carolina’s last 6 games.
* Carolina is 6-12 SU in their last 18 games.
* The Panthers are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against New Orleans.
* Carolina is 5-11 SU in their last 16 games on the road.
* New Orleans is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games.
* The Saints are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games.
* The total has gone OVER in 8 of New Orleans’ last 10 games against Carolina.
* New Orleans is 16-4 SU in their last 20 games at home.
We’re with Odds Shark on this one. The Saints should win, cover the spread, and the total should be UNDER 46 points.
Final Prediction: Saints 27, Panthers 14