New Orleans Saints (11-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-10)
The New Orleans Saints visit the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. Here’s our complete guide to Saints-Panthers Bet Tips. Odds and lines from Saints-Panthers picks are from PointsBet, current as of Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET.
Saints-Panthers Bet Tips
Odds & Betting Lines for Saints-Panthers Picks
- Against The Spread: Saints -6.5 (-115)/Panthers +6.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Saints (-301)/Panthers (+240)
- Total: 47.5 — Over 47.5 (-115)/Under 47.5 (-105)
- Implied Team Totals: Saints 27, Panthers 20.5
Saints-Panthers Picks overview: The Panthers won last week, but are eliminated from postseason contention and only playing for pride.
However, the Saints are in play for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC but they need help to get there. Not only must the Saints defeat the Panthers, but the Packers must lose while the Seahawks must win. The Saints are 1-2 in their past three games, victorious last week following a two-game slide.
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Saints-Panthers Key Injuries
UPDATE: The Saints’ entire running back room — Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray included — have been placed on the COVID-19 list and will miss the regular-season finale.
Ty Montgomery and practice-squad call-up Tony Jones are expected to carry the load. Taysom Hill will probably be involved more in some unique designed running plays, as well.
While we know Christian McCaffrey will not play with his quadriceps injury, the Panthers will now be without his primary backup and the team’s RB1 for the bulk of the year, Mike Davis, as well. Davis is already ruled out with an ankle injury.
With the Carolina backfield all sorts of banged up, Rodney Smith and Trenton Cannon are in line to draw the lion’s share of the running back touches in Week 17 against the Saints.
Saints-Panthers Players to Watch
We know that Carolina’s backfield will be down both Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis this week. However, the Panthers could also be without one of their 1,000-yard receivers, Robby Anderson, as well. Anderson did not practice on Wednesday with a groin injury. Considering the Panthers have nothing to play for, there is a good chance Anderson sits.
If Anderson indeed sits out, D.J. Moore will be the main beneficiary. However, let’s not forget about Curtius Samuel, who will benefit from the holes in the team’s backfield and at receiver. Samuel is versatile. He can line up all over the formation and can take handoffs too.
Samuel didn’t have the best start of the year, but he really came on in the second half. Samuel has gone for a touchdown or 68+ total yards in seven of his past nine games played. He popped for a season-high 106 total yards last week against Washington.
Samuel scored a rushing touchdown back in Week 7’s meeting with the Saints.
Saints TE Jared Cook has a terrific matchup in the season finale against the Panthers. Carolina’s defense is allowing the third-most receptions (85), the eighth-most yards (852), and the fifth most touchdowns (7) to enemy tight ends in 2020.
As a member of the Saints, Cook has played in three games against the Panthers. He has scored in all three meetings.
Following a rocky start to the second half of the season, Cook has now scored or accumulated 82 yards in three of his past four games, having his big yardage outing last week.
Saints-Panthers Weather Report
The weather at Bank of America Stadium calls for a rainy afternoon at the time of kickoff with a 43% chance of precipitation.
The temperature is set at 47 degrees Fahrenheit with 7 mph winds blowing SouthWest.
Saints-Panthers Picks & Best Bet
BEST BET: Saints -6.5 (-115)
The Panthers will be playing a Saints team that can still earn the top seed in the NFC if the ball bounces their way. They must win and also need some help from Green Bay and Seattle.
While there is still no word on whether or not the Saints will rest starters, as of now, it is all systems go. Meanwhile, the Panthers will be without their two top running backs and potentially one of their top two wideouts.
While the Panthers have not won many games in the second half of the year, they are at least playing teams close, especially superior foes.
Even without a typical running back to handle the load, Who Dat should handle their business against an inferior opponent while covering the spread in the process.
The Saints are 6-2 against the spread in their past eight games, covering last week.
The Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their past five games, covering in two straight.
The Saints are 1-5 ATS in their past six meetings with the Panthers, failing to cover in their matchup from earlier this season.
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CONSIDER: Over 47.5 (-115)
Although the Panthers will enter this game with key players on offense sidelined, the Saints have enough offensive firepower to do enough damage to cover this Over while Carolina does the minimum.
The Saints have scored 29+ points in each of their past two games, dropping 52 on the Vikings last week. The Saints out-match the Panthers in nearly every category, especially running the football. As long as the Saints can get going on the ground, Drew Brees should be able to pick their secondary apart.
The Over is 3-5 in the Saints’ past eight games, hitting in three straight.
The Over is 4-3 in the Panthers’ past seven games, failing to hit in two straight.
The Over is 7-1 in the past eight meetings between these two clubs, hitting in four straight.
PASS: Panthers (+240)
Unless the Saints elect to rest their starters, the Panthers have no shot. In fact, even if they decide to bench Drew Brees, the Panthers would have to deal with Taysom Hill, who we already know can win games.
Carolina’s only hope is if the Saints start or play Jameis Winston for the majority of the game. I am punting Carolina’s Moneyline.
Anthony Cervino is 61-50-2 on his NFL Best Bets in 2020.
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