Panthers vs. Saints Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds: How to Play This Over/Under

Panthers vs. Saints Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds: How to Play This Over/Under article feature image

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alvin Kamara.

  • Where is the best betting edge in Sunday's showdown between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints?
  • Our experts analyze this Week 12 matchup, complete with betting odds and expert picks.
  • You'll also find analysis of the biggest mismatch and Sean Koerner's projected spread below.

Panthers at Saints Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: Saints -9.5
  • Over/Under: 47
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Odds as of Thursday evening.

After some early-season success, Kyle Allen has struggled over his past four starts. His worst start came last week against the Falcons, which ended with him throwing four interceptions in a 29-3 loss for the Panthers.

The Saints, meanwhile, are coasting toward another NFC South title. But could they be surprised at home against a division rival?

Our experts preview this matchup, complete with picks and our proprietary projections.

Panthers-Saints Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Panthers

Both teams are relatively healthy heading into this divisional matchup. Cornerback Ross Cockrell (quad) has yet to resume practicing, suggesting he won’t be ready to play this week. Everyone else on their report got in limited practice sessions, so they should be trending towards playing.

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) remained sidelined at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He’ll need to have some sort of practice participation on Friday to have an outside shot at playing. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Saints Run Offense vs. Panthers Run Defense

As big home favorites, the Saints seem likely to run a lot against the Panthers, and I expect that they will have success.

The Panthers have an extreme funnel defense that ranks No. 7 against the pass but No. 32 against the run (per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric). The Panthers have been without run-stuffing Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short (shoulder, IR) since Week 3, and in his absence, their run defense has been a sieve.

The Panthers are No. 28 in running back rush success rate allowed (52%, per Sharp Football Stats). They’ve yielded a league-high 15 rushing touchdowns to opposing backfields.

That bodes well for the Saints, who have one of the league’s best backfields. New Orleans running backs are No. 1 with a 57% rush success rate, thanks in part to the team’s excellent offensive line, which ranks No. 1 with 5.17 adjusted line yards per attempt (per Football Outsiders).

In Alvin Kamara, the Saints have an explosive do-it-all back with 5.0 yards per carry for his career. And in Latavius Murray, they have a heavyweight between-the-tackles grinder capable of churning 20 carries into 100 yards.

As I note in this week’s RB breakdown, both Kamara and Murray are popping in our FantasyLabs Models. Against a vulnerable defense like Carolina’s, I could see them combining for 150 rushing yards and multiple touchdowns. Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Saints -9.5
  • Projected Total: 46.5

Allen took over for the injured Cam Newton in Week 3 and proceeded to go 4-0 over his first four starts in relief. Since then, he’s fallen apart to go 1-3 while posting a horrendous 3-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

You can either plug your nose and back the Panthers, or avoid this game altogether. Although the Panthers have a +1.3 edge in Pythagorean win differential over the Saints, the market seems fairly split on this line. I would’ve expected heavy action on the Saints, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

This is a pass for me. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

Since 2003, the under is 825-732-29 (53.0%) in division games. Unders have been a smart play in division games as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment.

It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points). It’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 182-110-3 (62.3%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,298 following this strategy.

This total opened 48 and has been bet down to 47, an indication that sharps are on the under. John Ewing

PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.

Expert Picks

Sean Zerillo: Under 47

The Saints and Panthers have yet to play this season — their second meeting will occur in Week 17 in Carolina — but both teams have put 10 games worth of their offense on film, and they’re extremely familiar with one another thanks to their biannual meetings.

For trend bettors, this game represents another spot to play a late-season under in a matchup between divisional opponents:

After exploding onto the scene with four consecutive wins in September and October, Allen has recorded three touchdowns against nine interceptions in his past four games, while averaging just 6.3 yards per pass attempt.

The Panthers offense ranks fourth in offensive pace, but I would look for them to slow it down and keep the ball on the ground, this week, after Allen’s 93 inefficient passing attempts over two consecutive losses.

Coming into Week 10, the Panthers offense ranked fifth in rushing DVOA, but 25th in passing.

Furthermore, the Saints will look to control the game on the ground against the Panthers’ 32nd ranked rushing defense, with Kamara and Murray, and avoid Carolina’s strong passing defense (third in DVOA).

The Saints rank 29th in offensive pace, and Kamara now appears fully healthy, recording more than 20 touches on Sunday for the first time in six weeks.

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