There are just 2 available spots left open in the race for the NFC playoffs, but you can bet that the door is going to be slammed shut on a few teams after this weekend’s action. There are a few who are already on the brink, with the New Orleans Saints on that list. They will be at home to the Carolina Panthers, who have already been eliminated, this weekend in what is a must win game. The margin of error for the Saints is rather slim, so you do have to feel that all the pressure is on them heading into this one. The Saints are in as a 7-point home favorite, with the point total for this game set at 38. That being said, let’s take a look at our NFL Betting preview for the upcoming match between the Panthers and Saints.
NFL Betting Analysis for Carolina Panthers at New Orleans
How to Bet On Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints & TV Info
- When: Sunday, January 2 at 4:25 PM EST
- Where: Superdome, New Orleans
- TV: FOX
Why bet on the Carolina Panthers
Things are not going well in Carolina right now, with the Panthers struggling to get anything going in the midst of a 5-game losing skid. It hasn’t helped that they haven’t had their best player, Christian McCaffrey, for most of the season because of injury, but they also have some serious issues at the QB position. They mixed things up by using both Sam Darnold and Cam Newton last weekend, but they were still blown out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During this losing run, the Panthers have also failed to cover the spread in each of their last 5 games, although they have covered in 10 of their last 14 road games. The OVER has hit for the Panthers in 6 of their last 8 games. The last 8 meetings between these two have also gone OVER the point total.
Why bet on the New Orleans Saints
As we mentioned at the top of this piece, the Saints are still in the playoff conversation, but they probably need to win their final 2 games and still get some help along the way. The Saints were hit hard by COVID and ended up having to roll with their 3rd string quarterback last weekend in a 20-3 loss to the red-hot Miami Dolphins. That broke up a modest 2-game win streak that they had going prior to that defeat. Home field has not been particularly kind to the Saints in terms of the point spread, as they are just 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games played in their own building. They are also just 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games versus teams from the NFC. The under has hit in 5 of their last 6, but things tend to go OVER when playing the Panthers.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is one where you might want to wait to see what the QB status is for the Saints before you place a wager. If they are back to full strength at the QB spot, then I would feel very good about them winning and covering the spread.
NFL Week 17 Betting Pick: Carolina Panthers 13 New Orleans Saints 27