Panthers vs. Saints Point Spread: NFL Wildcard Odds, Prediction

Jeremy Perry | Updated Jan 03, 2018

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers

The Saints have had the Panthers number this season, scoring at least 31 points in each of the two meetings.

Carolina
11-5
AT
January 07, 2018, 4:40 PM ET
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Pointspread +6.5 -110
Moneyline +200
Over / Under o +48.5

43%

Betting Action

57%

Pointspread -6.5 -110
Moneyline -250
Over / Under u +48.5

43%

Betting Action

57%

On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints will meet for the third time this season. The Panthers have lost both meetings so far, losing by double digits each time. Can they make the necessary adjustments while finding a way to escape with a win?

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

The Saints opened up as a six-point favorite and the line has climbed to 6.5 as bettors seem to like the chalk in this spot.

New Orleans was 7-2 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season, winning eight of those games outright.

The Panthers don’t play well in domes, failing to cover six of their last seven in domes while losing five of those games. They’re also 0-2 as a road dog of 3.5 to seven points this season (both ATS and SU).

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have lost both meetings with the Saints this season and the main reason has been their run defense. On the season, the Panthers finished with the third-rank run defense, giving up just 88.1 rushing yards per game. However, in the two meetings with New Orleans, they allowed 149 and 148 – two of their worst performances of the season. The Saints offensive line has dominated this matchup and the Panthers have to win the battle on the line of scrimmage to change that.

On offense, the Panthers have to do a better job themselves as the Saints have held them to 288 yards or less in both meetings. Carolina needs to run the ball with success, keep themselves in short third downs and move the chains with frequency. That can keep the Saints offense on the sidelines. The challenge is that Carolina hasn’t been able to achieve any of this in the regular season. What will change in the playoffs?

New Orleans Saints

The Saints have run the ball well, converted just under 50% of their third downs and dominated the time of possession. All they need to do is more of the same.

Although most people figure this is an offense-versus-defense matchup, the Saint stoppage unit has been pretty darn good this season too. They allowed 20.4 points per game this season, the same as the Panthers. New Orleans ranked better in pass defense and held opposing quarterbacks to a worse QB rating.

More good news for New Orleans is that they’re at home in this matchup. They were 7-1 at home this season with the only loss coming to the New England Patriots. The Saints have won four of their last five games by double digits. The Panthers were 2-3 in their last five road games, scoring an average of 17.6 points per game. That won’t get the job done in this spot.

Panthers vs. Saints Prediction

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