Panthers vs Saints Odds, Pick: Bet This Chris Olave Prop in Week 18
David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Olave (No. 12).
- The Saints are 3.5-point favorites at home against the Panthers.
- Both teams are out of the playoff race, but that doesn't mean there are no picks to make.
- Sam Farley breaks down the matchup and makes his Panthers vs. Saints pick below.
It's Week 18 and everyone is looking at games with playoff implications — who will be the top seeds and who can sneak into the postseason? While people are watching those games, I'll be watching the dead rubber and making a Panthers vs. Saints pick.
These teams have had poor seasons, although both have finished better than they started. That won't fool either organization into thinking that they're not in a rebuild. The most important part of any rebuild is drafting great young talent and we'll be focusing our best bet for this game on one very impressive rookie.
Here's a look at the Panthers vs. Saints odds along with a pick and prediction for this Week 18 season finale.
Panthers vs. Saints Odds
Panthers vs. Saints Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Panthers and Saints match up statistically:
Panthers vs. Saints DVOA Breakdown
A single win separates these teams, but the Panthers feel a long way off compared to the Saints. When it comes to elite playmakers, there's only one on the Panthers roster: DJ Moore. As any Moore truther will tell you, it's a great shame he's never had an elite quarterback, but there's hope he might finally get that in this year's NFL Draft.
Besides Moore, the wide receiving corps features Terrace Marshall Jr. and Laviska Shenault, two players who have struggled to reach the expectations that were held for them when they were drafted at the Panthers and Jaguars, respectively.
Bet Carolina vs. New Orleans at FanDuel
Indeed you could argue that the redemption of Sam Darnold has been part of the reason the Panthers have improved down the stretch. The No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has started to look like a capable quarterback, but it likely won't be enough to stop the team from moving on this offseason.
The Saints, too, will surely be looking for a new quarterback. Neither Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston is the long-term answer. They have one of the best defenses in the league and some talent on offense, which only magnifies their subpar quarterback play. They feel close to competing, as they come into this game just a win off the division champions.
Alvin Kamara has had a poor season by his standards, but he's still a top running back and with a better quarterback he should instantly rediscover his previous form.
The wide receiver room also has plenty of talent. Michael Thomas is, as always, injured, but Chris Olave has been another incredible draft choice. Alongside him are the capable but not spectacular Marquez Callaway and Tre'Quan Smith, as well fellow rookie Rashid Shaheed, who has one of the wildest stat lines in the league this year.
The real breakout star for the Saints has been Olave — the former Ohio State man already looks like a stud. With neither team having much to play for, I'm expecting to see the Saints feed Olave, who is somehow a +3000 outsider to win Offensive Rookie of the Year despite an incredible year.
Olave leads rookies in yards per route run with 2.4, which places him fifth among rookies over the past decade. He is also second in the league among rookies in receiving yards, trailing Garrett Wilson by 32. He's also No. 1 across the entire league in terms of air yards per snap and second in aDOT.
Olave is a truly elite wide receiver with exceptional numbers in everything except touchdowns, something I can see the Saints trying to fix on Sunday in order to get their boy back into OROTY contention.
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