NFL Betting tip: Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Jan 07, 2018
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Hard to know what exactly is wrong with the Panthers this season, they finished 11-5 with the same record as the Saints, but feel inferior to both them and the Falcons in the NFC South and the W/L record doesn't fully bear that out.
Carolina have "bothered" me all season, back in October I wrote ..............
Personally,I have a few doubts about Carolina, they blow hot and cold and I am talking mid game, not just fixture to fixture and they have scored just 22 points in two home starts this season and have averaged 17.78 per game at the Bank of America Stadium since last September (9 games). I do not think that is anywhere near enough to win this, that they will need to step up considerably on anything they have shown at home for closing in on 13 months and only 2-3 times in any game since 2015. That is not to say they can't, just that odds are skinny for them to do so against what might well be a very good Eagles team. Key to the Panthers has always been a very solid running game, it deserted them a little last year and despite winning, production on the ground has dropped off again this season and a couple of wins might just have papered over that, I have some other "issues" too, but can leave those for another day.
They seem to have played a lot of teams at the right time, but lost both regular season match ups to the Saints by a combined 31 points and New Orleans were 0-2 going into the first of those. I guess it all boils down to Cam Newton, he is a big old unit, a highly mobile quarterback who is very difficult to stop when he takes off with the ball, but the Saints have held him to 74 yards rushing in the last four h2h meeting and passing the ball, his timing has been way off this season. His numbers of 291 completions from 492 attempts and 3,302 yards, 22 touchdowns are not far off 2016 when the Panthers were 6-10 and their form feels somewhere between the two W/L records. Newton faced eight playoff teams this season, only eight touchdowns , yet 21 of his 35 sacks came in those games and are further lopsided as he had one stand out early season showing v the Patriots, he and the Panthers have largely underperformed versus the better teams, even when they have got a result.
The Saints have won seven straight at the Superdome and are a perfect 4/4 here in post season in the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era. Offensive lines are weak across the NFL, but New Orleans have an abundance of talent on their's and are strong against both the run and pass, ranked second in yards per play on the ground and allowing the second fewest sacks in the NFL. To be so strong in an area where almost everyone else is struggling is a huge advantage. Their defense is often highlighted as a weakness, but they are improving after dealing with a spate of injuries and 20 interceptions sees them ranked third in the NFL, bettered only by the Jags (#2 ranked defense in the NFL) and Ravens, 20 is more than they made in the two previous campaigns combined and the most since that glorious year of 2009 when they landed all those 25-1 + outright bets .
They not only have experience, but continuity, head coach Sean Payton is the only NFC coach in the playoffs with a Super Bowl title and his six postseason wins are more than the other five NFC coaches combined ! Assistants Dennis Allen, Pete Carmichael, Curtis Johnson and Joe Lombardi were all on the 2009 Super Bowl staff. Highly versatile backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are the best pair in football, each had more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage this season, the first two running backs from the same team to manage that in NFL history. Last but not least they have Drew Brees, a quarterback who has thrown over 70,000 yards and is closing in fast on Brett Favre and Peyton Manning in the all time list. He has not needed to throw the big bombs this season because of Ingram and Kamara, but they are there if required and it is noteworthy the last time he attempted under 600 passes was again in 2009 ! Touchdown passes aside, his numbers are remarkable similar to that year and his passer rating the third higest since 2005. Saints by 10.
1.75 units New Orleans Saints -7 points 2.11 Pinnacle/Sportmarket Pro/Vegas Line.
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