First place in the NFC South is on the line as the Carolina Panthers visit the New Orleans Saints in Week 13. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST on Sunday, December 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Fans in most markets will be able to watch the game on Fox.
Oddsmakers view the Saints as 4-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 48 points. Click here to check out a full list of the Week 13 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Saints vs Panthers Vegas Betting Preview
The Saints come home this week after a 26-20 road loss to the Rams last week. However, prior to that loss, New Orleans had rattled off eight wins in a row following a 0-2 start to the season. New Orleans currently sits at 8-3 on the season, which is tied with Carolina atop the NFC South with the Falcons just one game back.
The Panthers have reached 8-3 on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Carolina has had some uneasy moments this season. But the Panthers have taken care of business over the past month to get back on top of the division. However, Carolina has to keep on winning if they hope to win the division and avoid having to settle for a wild-card spot.
Carolina will also be looking for some redemption this week after they were embarrassed at home 34-13 when they played New Orleans in Week 3. Cam Newton threw three interceptions in that game while Drew Brees was close to unstoppable, going 22 for 29 with three touchdowns.
Free Pick & Odds Predictions: Saints -4
I’m initial lean for this matchup is toward the Saints. I’m going to give New Orleans a pass for last week’s loss to the Rams. During their eight-game winning streak, the Saints won seven of those eight games by at least a touchdown. I’m willing to bet they get right back on track this week with another convincing win over the Panthers.
Obviously, the Panthers deserve some credit for their own four-game winning streak. Carolina has clearly made a lot of progress since getting blown out by the Saints earlier this year. But I still don’t believe the Panthers and Saints are on the same level.
Of Carolina’s last four wins, only one came against a team with a winning record, a 3-point home win over the Falcons. I’m not convinced the Panthers are ready to compete with a team like the Saints on the road.
Click on the link for more free NFL betting predictions from our experts on staff.
Carolina’s defense should be considered one of the best in the NFL. However, they’ve dominated bad offensive teams but have been exposed when playing good ones. In four games against the Saints, Patriots, Lions, and Eagles, Carolina gave up an average of 29 points. Even a mediocre Jets offense scored 27 points against them last week. I don’t think that bodes well for the Panthers going up against Brees and company in the Superdome.
I also have doubts about Newton and the Carolina offense keeping up in a shootout. Even with the emergence of Devin Funchess in recent weeks, the Panthers are still reliant on their running game and don’t have a ton of receiving options down the field. Newton is also nursing a minor thumb injury and was just 11 for 28 throwing the ball last week. That kind of performance is definitely not going to cut it against the Saints this week.
Most people also overlook the fact that New Orleans has been solid defensively this season. To be fair, the Saints haven’t been at their best on that side of the ball the past couple of weeks. But during their eight-game winning streak, they only allowed more than 17 points on two occasions. Against a team like Carolina that doesn’t have much a vertical passing game, they should be in good shape.
Obviously, with both teams being 8-3, it’s tough to project a blowout. But I can see the Saints winning in a fairly one-sided game. Even on the heels of a four-game winning streak, I’m not sold on the Panthers. I like the Saints to pick up where they left off a couple weeks ago and win going away.
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