NFC South rivals New Orleans and Carolina will close out the regular season schedules this weekend when they butt heads at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Sunday’s game between the two rivals is scheduled for a 1:00pm ET start on FOX. NFL odds makers have the Saints listed as a -8 against the spread home favorite; the game total is set at 55 points. Get an NFL Predictions edge, check out the latest Panthers vs Saints Odds before making a pick on this weekend’s game.
At a minimum the Saints own the three seed in the NFC playoffs, they secured that much on Monday night with a 45-16 drubbing of NFC South rival Atlanta; however, the two seed remains a possibility should San Francisco lose to the Rams on Sunday.
Okay, the two seed is not a possibility, but stranger things have happened (i.e. the Rams beating the Saints earlier this season). Consequently, New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton figures to give his starters every opportunity to get a win against the Panthers this weekend.
That means Drew Brees will probably be afforded enough time under center to build on the single season passing record which he procured against the Falcons. Should Payton choose to sit Brees, there is an outside chance Tom Brady could pass Brees’ current number and Dan Marino’s old mark in the same weekend. It’s doubtful anyone in New Orleans wants that to happen, so expect Brees to play a minimum of two quarters and probably the entire game.
Speaking of records, Cam Newton, who broke Peyton Manning’s former rookie passing yards mark last week, has an opportunity to build on his record tally against the Saints 30th ranked pass defense. Newton presently sits ninth in the league in pass yards with a total of 3,893, but he should easily slip past the 4,000 yard mark on Sunday.
More importantly, though, Carolina will be eying a positive finish to a season that has already exceeded the expectations of most. Some had difficulty finding even three or four Panthers wins when the season kicked off in September, but the club enters Sunday’s game with six after winning four of its last five games.
Carolina should not be dismissed in this one either. For whatever reason the Panthers play extremely well in New Orleans (7-3 straight up, 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 at the Superdome), and I predict they will do so again on Sunday, easily covering this eight point spread.
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NFL Predictions Week 17 – Panthers vs Saints Odds: Provided by Bovada.lv
Carolina Panthers +8 (-110), Over 55 (-110)
New Orleans Saints -8 (-110), Under 55 (-110)