Pretty good way to finish the night off today, with the New Orleans Saints playing host to the Carolina Panthers. I am not sure if the secret is out regarding the Panthers, but they are a damn good team. Most definitely a team that can play dark horse in the playoffs if they hit their stride. We see every team in the NFL, it is the hottest team in the playoffs that ends up going far. What you’re doing now is the only thing that matters. And what the Panthers are doing now is winning football games. It looked like the Panthers were in a look ahead spot last week considering this game is on the docket, but they still steamrolled by the Buccaneers. It doesn’t really seem all that impressive blowing the Bucs out, but I think it is worth something. So many times we see times slack off a week before big games, not Carolina. Those are the kinds of teams that can do damage in the playoffs.
Not to be out done, the Saints are a team that are capable of going far as well. Especially if they’re at home in the dome in the playoffs, look out for this team. Like I said in my previous article, quick write-ups today, so let’s get right to it.
Panthers vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Carolina Panthers +3(-110)
@New Orleans Saints -3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Panthers vs. Saints Pick:
If the Saints were playing against a lowly opponent last week, I suppose you could chalk their loss up in the look ahead column. They were up against the Seahawks though in another critical game for the Saints. It was anything but a good game for the Saints, as they got shellacked against the Seahawks on the road, 34-7. We cashed in on that one, another primetime winner for us. Like the Seahawks, the Saints are a different team at home, they thrive off the home crowd. New Orleans on the road have not only lost to a good Seattle team, but have fallen to the Jets, Patriots, and barely beat the Falcons and Bucs. The Patriots I understand, struggling against the Falcons, Bucs, and losing to the Jets is a red flag. For the purposes of this pick, the Saints are at home of course, a place where they are very good. The Saints’ offense is clicking, like it should, averaging 397 yards a game and 26 points, so maybe they are a notch below what they are capable of. The defense has improved immensely however from a season ago, which may be the understatement of the century. The Saints are 8th in the NFL in yards allowed and 7th in points allowed with 19.2. An underrated unit in a way.
Speaking of underrated, you can’t speak of underratedness without mentioning the Panthers. The word may be out by now, but I am not sure people know how good they are. They are 1st in the NFL in points allowed per game, giving up only 13. Better than some teams you would think hold an advantage there, like the Seahawks for instance. Cam Newton has been doing a serviceable job, but it is all about the defense with the Panthers. I hear how people are talking about how Newton is playing so much better, I wouldn’t say so much better, I would say better, but the defense should be getting all the credit.
The Saints at home are too good to ignore, though. Playing at home they are 21-8-2 against the spread and 25-6 straight up. I think after a bad beat against the Seahawks last week, they’ll be ready to go to show the nation that they can beat good teams. I don’t like the Saints on the road, but home is a totally different story. Both teams are 9-3, so this is one of the most important games they have played in this season. I like the Saints to be able to edge the Panthers out and pick up the cover in the process. You won’t find the Saints laying 3 points at home very often, so I’ll happily do it.
PICK: Saints -3(-110)