New Orleans (11-2) at Carolina (6-7)
When: Monday, December 17th 2018
Where: Bank of America Stadium,
Charlotte, North Carolina
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: New Orleans -6.5/54.5
The Carolina Panthers are in desperate need of a win to stay in the playoff hunt, but two of their last three games are against the NFC-leading New Orleans Saints beginning with a Monday Night Football battle in Week 15. Carolina has dropped five-straight games on the heels of a three-game winning streak, but four of those setbacks were on the road, and they’ll be in the comforts of Charlotte on Monday, where they are 5-1 this season. The Panthers defense has been vulnerable to the big play recently, allowing 15 plays of 20 yards or more, and last week during a six-point loss to the Browns, they allowed three plays of 50 yards or more. The Saints enter week 15 already having already clinched the NFC South, but have their sites set on home field advantage and the trip to the Super Bowl. Currently they are tied with the Rams for first overall in the conference, and hold the tie breaker from a week 9 victory over the Rams. New Orleans bounced back from a Thursday night loss in Dallas by scoring 25 unanswered points in last week’s 28-14 win at Tampa Bay to avoid a two-game skid. The Saints, who swept three meetings with the Panthers last season, including a 31-26 playoff victory, are 10-3 against the spread this season.
The New Orleans defense has been quite the underrated group this season with the offense getting most of the headlines. They have limited its last five opponents to 17 points or fewer and are No. 1 in the NFL against the run (77.6 yards). Brees leads the league in passer rating (120.8) despite just one touchdown and one interception in each of the last two games. Brees’ favorite target is Michael Thomas, who ranks second in the NFL with 102 catches, while Alvin Kamara boasts 1,384 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns out of the backfield. Brees has thrown for 1,521 yards with 13 TDs and three interceptions in his last five matchups with Carolina.
Cam Newton failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since the season opener in last week’s loss at Cleveland, but did surpass 3,000 yards passing for the eighth straight season. The Saints defense will need to watch out for Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for two touchdowns and caught six passes last week to give him 1,627 yards from scrimmage and 13 scores on the season. Carolina doesn’t have a top 20 receiver for Cam to throw to, but rookie wideouts D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are coming into their own. Tight end Ian Thomas made nine catches for 77 yards in place of injured Greg Olsen last week. Carolina’s strength on defense is stopping the run, as they rank seventh in that category at 97.8 yards per contest.
This Carolina offense plays much better at home, averaging 30.8 points a game, while losing just once. The New Orleans offense has looked sluggish the last two games and are playing against a team that is desperate for a win. I can see a very close game there, so take the points.
Pick: Panthers +6.5
- Saints are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- Saints are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. NFC.
- Saints are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Saints are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 road games.
- Saints are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 games following a ATS win.
- Saints are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 games following a straight up win.
- Saints are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games on grass.
- Saints are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 vs. NFC South.
- Saints are 35-17 ATS in their last 52 games overall.
- Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Monday games.
- Panthers are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 15.
- Panthers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games.
- Panthers are 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Panthers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC South.
- Panthers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC.
- Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
- Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in December.
- Panthers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on grass.
- Under is 4-0 in Saints last 4 games overall.
- Under is 5-0 in Saints last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Over is 4-0 in Saints last 4 Monday games.
- Under is 4-0 in Saints last 4 vs. NFC.
- Under is 5-1 in Saints last 6 road games.
- Under is 5-2 in Saints last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 5-2 in Saints last 7 games on grass.
- Under is 5-2 in Saints last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 4-0 in Panthers last 4 games in December.
- Over is 5-0 in Panthers last 5 home games.
- Under is 5-1 in Panthers last 6 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 4-1 in Panthers last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Over is 8-2-1 in Panthers last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Over is 6-2 in Panthers last 8 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 8-3 in Panthers last 11 games in Week 15.
- Over is 34-15-2 in Panthers last 51 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Carolina.
- Over is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
- Underdog is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
- Saints are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
- Under is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings in Carolina.
- Road team is 24-10 ATS in their last 34 meetings.