New Orleans Saints (11-5) vs Carolina Panthers (11-5)
NFL: Sunday, January 07, 4:25 PM @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Line: New Orleans -6; Over/Under: 47.5
FREE NFL PICK SAINTS VS PANTHERS
The NFC South powerhouse will be very well represented as Drew Brees and the Saints take on Cam Newton and the Panthers. After the Falcons visited the Super Bowl last season and with Jameis Winston bringing up the Buccaneers, football fans and experts starting question if an aging Brees and a Newton coming off injuries were gunna battle for the basement of the NFC South. Both these teams have quietly risen to the top of the NFC South continuously proving doubters wrong week in and week out.
The New Orleans Saints are looking for the hat trick as they meet the Panthers for the third time this season. Drew Brees and co. swept the season series against Carolina with two decisive wins. The keys to the Saints success, other than their defense making key plays, is relying on their run game to open up downfield shots for Drew Brees. The Saints have a powerful one-two punch with their backs in Mark Ingram and rookie sensation Alvin Kamara. One of these two have to set the tone early to give Drew Brees a chance to air it out. One thing is for sure, ‘Who Dat’ is back!
The Carolina Panthers reached the playoffs again thanks in part because an injury-free Cam Newton was able to be himself again. Seeing the Panthers against their toughest opponents this season Newton showed confidence and that swagger that we saw in him a couple years ago that led the Panthers to the Superbowl. Newton needs to get into a groove early to instill that confidence throughout the game. On a big stage once again expect the Panthers to try and run up the score early as we have seen on their prime time games this season. This game will be decided with one or two key defensive plays but primarily by which team gets into a rhythm first.
FREE NFL PICK PANTHERS VS SAINTS
The Saints and Panthers have both done a great job this season at showing up big when they faced a tough opponent. Despite the Saints handing the Panthers two huge loses earlier this season, this is going to be the first time this season the Saints defense will have to deal with Greg Olsen which should definitely prevent the Saints from running away with the game early. However, with Drew Brees’ experience and that running power with Ingram and Kamara I see a week 1 rematch in the divisional round for the Saints against the Vikings.
New Orleans Saints:
New Orleans is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
New Orleans is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Carolina is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
Carolina is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina’s last 7 games