After falling to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in both of their two regular-season meetings, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will look to extract some revenge by pulling off the big upset when they square off in their third meeting this season. Now, let’s find out if the Panthers can pull off the upset or cover the chalk or whether Brees and the Saints are the pick to back their NFL Playoffs betting odds, win and cash in!
Carolina (11-5) at New Orleans (11-5) NFL Playoffs Betting Odds & Prediction
- When: Sunday, January 7, 2018, 4:40 PM ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
- TV: FOX
- Radio: 99.9 FM (Carolina) / 105.3 FM (New Orleans)
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
- NFL Playoffs Betting Odds: New Orleans Saints -6.5 (Over/Under at 49.5)
- Mostly Cloudy: 16°C/61°F
- Humidity: 68%
- Precipitation: 22%
- Cloud Cover: 63%
- Wind: 14 mph SE
- Stadium Type: Indoor
- All: Carolina Panthers 11-5 / New Orleans Saints 11-5
- Home: Carolina Panthers 6-2 / New Orleans Saints 7-1
- Away: Carolina Panthers 5-3 / New Orleans Saints 4-4
- ATS: Carolina Panthers 9-6-1 / New Orleans Saints 8-8
- Over/Under: Carolina Panthers 9-7 / New Orleans Saints 9-7
Why Bet on the Carolina Panthers Odds at +6.5?
Why bet on the Panthers in their wild-card opener? That’s easy. Because they’re really good on both sides of the ball and have a unique that can change the complexion of any game in a heartbeat! Carolina had their three-game winning streak snapped in their 22-10 regular-season finale at Atlanta but the Panthers, but they still hit the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the playoffs.
“It’s all about growth,” Newton said. “There’s no need to sob over something that you know I could have been better at. These are the days that pointing the blame, pointing the finger and even being harsh on yourself, you kind of stay stagnant. I’m going to do that and focus on the next opponent.”
Carolina has won seven of their last nine games overall, even if their only other loss besides their finale was a 31-21 road loss at New Orleans in Week 13. The Panthers have a ton of motivation and a powerful rushing attack that ranked fourth and an offense that managed to finish a respectable 12th in scoring (22.7 ppg). Carolina also has a very solid defense that ranked seventh overall, third against the run and 11th in points allowed (20.4 ppg).
While Cam Newton is never going to be the classic drop-back passer that some people still want him to be, he’s also the only quarterback in the league that can change the complexion of a game in a heartbeat with his completely unique running ability.
Why Bet on the New Orleans Saints Odds at -6.5?
Well, because they’ve beaten them twice this season, have a future Hall of Fame quarterback and an improved defense that has been rock-solid this season. Not only that, but their running back tandem and the addition of fleet-footed rookie Alvin Kamara has been an absolute revelation.
The third-round draft pick from Tennessee joined Gale Sayers as the only rookies in NFL history with at least five rushing TDs, five receiving TDs and a kickoff return TD.
“The production and the way those guys compete is significant. And you don’t take it for granted. It’s a big part of our team,” said Saints coach Sean Payton, whose offense ranked second in the NFL with 395.7 yards per game, even though quarterback Drew Brees had his lowest total of passing yards (4,334) and passing TDs (23) in 12 seasons with the Saints.
The Saints hit the playoffs coming off a surprising 31-24 road loss at Tampa Bay in their Week 17 finale, so they should have plenty of motivation to pull off the three-peat. However, it should also be noted that New Orleans has also lost three of their last six games by falling to the Falcons 20-17 in Atlanta in Week 14 and losing on the road to the Rams 26-20 in Week 12.
The good news is that the Saints beat the Panthers at home 34-13 in Week 3 and surpassed the 30-point plateau against Carolina in both of their meetings this season. Also, if you’re worried about the Saints being able to beat the Panthers for the third time this season, you should know that, since 1990, there have been sixteen times when a team was swept in the regular season and then met that opponent a third time in the playoffs.
Latest NFL Playoffs Betting Trends
- Panthers are 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games
- Panthers are 7-2 SU in their last 9 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina’s last 7 games
- Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games
- Saints are 11-3 SU in their last 14 games
- The total has gone OVER in 15 of New Orleans’s last 21 games at home
Expert Analysis and Prediction
The Saints may be playing at home and they may have won both regular-season meetings this year, but the Carolina Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up loss and an encouraging 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. While the Saints have gone 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games against their NFC South division rivals, New Orleans is also 2-5 ATS in their last seven games.
While Carolina has gone 1-4 ATS in their last five road dates against New Orleans and a winless 0-6 ATS in their last 6 meetings, the Underdog in this NFC South rivalry has gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings while the road team is a consistent 23-10 ATS in their last 33 meetings. This game has the unmistakable look and feel of a classic field goal finish to me. Back the Saints to win but the Panthers to cover the chalk at the NFL Playoffs betting lines!
Pick: Carolina Panthers +6.5