The Carolina Panthers catch a New Orleans Saints team coming off a blowout loss up in the Pacific Northwest. The outright lead for the NFC South is on the line… Is it any wonder the NFL flexed this game into the Week 14 primetime slot?
The Panthers struggled out of the gate but have since won eight-straight games by an average margin of 14 points. NFL odds makers set the Saints as a 4-point favorite when Week 1 4 betting opened on this matchup but that number has since been trimmed to -3 with a total of 46.5.
WEEK 14 PICKS – SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
In three divisional games this year the Panthers have scored 31, 34 and 27 points. Carolina has also scored at least a TD in 10 of 12 quarters vs. NFC South opponents this season and it seems as if HC Ron Rivera has made that a focus. In Rivera’s first 10 divisional games as Panthers head coach the team was 3-7 SU but since then they have won five-straight SU/ATS by an average margin of 15.8 PPG.
Carolina’s gameplan coming into this season involved beating the Saints at least once to win the South and given the two teams’ identical 9-3 SU records, there is no time like the present. Carolina is 10-1-1 ATS the past 12 games against foes who average more than 35 pass attempts per game and last year when they left New Orleans (41.9 attempts in 2012) the Panthers emerged victorious, 44-38 (OV 54).
SAINTS MARCHING IN
In Sportsdatabase.com history we can see 22 occurrences where teams on a 3-plus game winning streak rolled into New Orleans and in those games the Saints are 10-12 SU, 9-12-1 ATS with 19 of 22 going “Over” the posted total. New Orleans “only” scored 24.3 points in those games but in the Sean Payton and Drew Brees era you can jack that scoring average to 32.0 PPG (7-1 O/U).
The Saints are 11-0 O/U after scoring fewer than 10 points, 7-0 O/U at home in that spot and the seven games have cleared by nearly 14 points per game. Carolina has a great defense but if there is a crack then New Orleans can find it. By the same token the Saints are 0-5-1 ATS their last six against teams with a mobile quarterback. We are not overly interested in fading the Saints off such a bad defeat in Seattle but shop around, find your best total and book this game to go over the number.
Pick: Take the OVER