After another .500 week of betting picks, we’re back in Week 9 eagerly looking to get over the hump! It’ll begin tonight with an excellent NFC South match-up between the visiting New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. Drew Brees and the Saints are fresh off a convincing victory against the Packers in Week 8 and will look to carry over that momentum. The only thing is, this is a team that is abysmal away from home. Can they reverse the trend in Carolina? The Panthers will enter looking to seize first place of the division, and despite their poor run of play lately, getting DeAngelo Williams back and being on home turf should help their cause. It promises to be a memorable evening and week of NFL action as we enter the second half of the year. As always, you’re covered here at The Sports Geek for all of your betting needs, read on below for tonight’s official wager and game breakdown.
Saints vs. Panthers Betting Odds:
New Orleans Saints -3 (-115)
@ Carolina Panthers +3 (-105)
Over 49.5 (-110)
Under 49.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Saints vs. Panthers Pick:
The Saints home vs. road dichotomy is one of the wildest extremes in professional sport. As was seen on Sunday night vs. Green Bay, the Saints were excellent in all regards against the Packers. At the SuperDome, they’ve been great, away from it, brutal. And when you consider that this could be a prime letdown spot from the Saints, don’t be surprised if they turn in yet another poor road outing Thursday night. The Panthers defense has great pieces and was supposed to be much better than what they’ve shown thus far. Currently they rank near the bottom in points and yards allowed, though expect an inspired outing Thursday night. I still contend that this unit has a lot of pride and potential and in this favourable spot look for the Panthers to keep the Saints mostly in check. While it’s always tough to limit the effectiveness of Brees and the Saints, Carolina should be able to hang around.
Similarly to the Panthers, the Saints defense is nothing special either. New Orleans doesn’t offer much by way of resistance. Carolina has stayed afloat this season in spite of their porous defense with a productive offense. Cam Newton has endured a tough schedule, and should welcome the defenses he’s about to face in the coming weeks. The Newton-to-Kelvin Benjamin connection is one of the top duos in football right now, especially after last week when Benjamin went toe-to-toe with Richard Sherman. Benjamin won’t be stopped by anybody in New Orleans’ secondary.
Another point working in Carolina’s favour is the presence of a competent run game. If they get the run game going, and they should be able to, they’ll control the tempo of this contest and keep the ball away from Brees and the Saints. It’s expected that the Panthers will welcome back DeAngelo Williams at the running back position for tonight. Williams is an effective runner and the Saints are only mediocre against the run. Over the course of the year, the Panthers’ offense has been far better with the presence of Williams.
Despite being all over the Saints just a few days ago, off a great win and now returning to the road, this is a tough spot for the Saints. For whatever reason, New Orleans struggles mightily away from home, with their 0-4 record away from the SuperDome looming large heading into tonight’s contest. Being favoured by a field goal in a road game is a tad surprising, considering how effective the Panthers offense can be. I expect a lot of points in tonight’s with both defenses looking pathetic at times. Ultimately I see the Panthers defending home turf and edging out a narrow victory. It’s just too tough to back New Orleans at any number on the road.
PICK = Panthers +3 (-105)