New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Preview – NFL Week 17, 2020

By Dean McHugh in Football
| December 30, 2020 4:00 pm PDT

Whilst the Saints have a playoff berth secured, they will want to wrap up the NFC South title, which will come with the added bonus of having home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. For Carolina, the only incentive is to avoid coming last in the division, which is the same permutations that the Falcons face against the Buccaneers in the other game in this division.

The Saints have won three of their last five games, beating the Vikings last time out to end a run of two straight defeats.

The panthers also halted a losing run of three last time out, beating Washington, which was their second win from their last five matchups.

Unsurprisingly the Saints have dominated this fixture, beating the Panthers in seven of the last eight times the two teams have met. They have also won the last games played at the Bank of America Stadium.

Saints vs. Panthers Odds

Saints -6.5-110
Panthers +6.5-110
Saints To Win-300
Panthers To Win+235
Over 48 Points-110
Under 48 Points-110

The odds for this one look pretty accurate to me, and it’s hard to find value in the odds, so let’s ensure we pick the correct winning bet by breaking the game down.

Saints News

After losing back-to-back games for the second time this season, the Saints bounced back with a resounding win beating the Vikings 52-33.

They have won five of their seven games on the road to date, however, they did lose their last one against last-placed Philadelphia. They started the game slowly and trailed 17-0 at half time. Despite a comeback in the third quarter, they were unable to get back on terms and lost 24-21.

The Saints have done well against the spread lately, winning six of their last eight. This is also the case on the road, winning eleven of their last 14 games. However, against Carolina, they haven’t done so well at all, only winning one of the last six. However, they have done well in Carolina, winning four of the last six.

The Saints free-flowing football has produced some exciting high-scoring games, which has seen 10 of the last 15 go over the betting total. This trend continues when you look at their games on the road as six of the last nine have also gone over. Looking at the head-to-head record, things don’t change as seven of the last eight against the Panthers have gone over too. However, when you solely look at the games in Carolina, this does change as only five of the last 17 have gone over the betting total.

Apart from their offensive passing yards gained, the Saints stats are all inside the top ten for each category. Oddly they have the best passing success rate in the league at a whopping 71%, which you would naturally assume would see more passing yards gained than they are currently averaging.

They have a mean defense that only gives up an average of 310 yards per game, which is only bettered by two other teams in the league. They are particularly good at stopping rushing teams, reducing them to less than 100 yards per game. However, they can stop passing teams as they have reduced their opponents to a 60% passing success rate, which is the second-best in the league behind the Steelers. They also have the third most amount of tackles made this year. One area their defense could improve would be forcing more fumbles as they have the third-lowest amount made this season. 

They will be hoping that defensive end Trey Hendrickson can shake off his recent injury and return to the line up to continue his impressive tally of sacks made this year. He returned to training on Wednesday and has a chance of making the lineup on Sunday.

Whilst their offense has posted decent yardage stats gaining just under 380 yards per game, they are extremely clinical as they average 29 points per game, which is the fourth-best in the NFL.

Panthers News

The Panthers also bounced back last week against Washington thanks to an impressive first-half display, which saw them lead 20-3 at the midway point. Despite a small fightback from Washington, the Panthers still managed to run out 20-13 winners.

They have been slightly worse at home than they have on the road, winning two at home and three away from home. They have lost four of their last five at home, which doesn’t put them in good stead for this fixture.

Against the spread, they, too, have done well, winning four of their last five matchups. However, at home, they have been awful, only winning two of their 11 games. 

Their stats are very mid-table across the board, which in theory should mean they have done slightly better than they have this season. They are averaging over 240 passing yards per game, which is slightly higher than the league average. This is largely down to their passing accuracy, which reads 69% of passes have reached their destination, which is the fifth-highest in the NFL. Their most disappointing stat is arguably the most important one, points scored, as they average just 22 points per game.

They haven’t made many interceptions this year, in fact, they have the third-lowest in the league.

Saints vs. Panthers Pick

Pick
  • Saints To Win
    -300

I’m confident that the Saints will win this, and I think they will probably cover the spread, but I wouldn’t put my money on it, so I will play it safe on this one and opt for the Saints to win straight up.

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