NFL Picks: Unstable Saints Cannot Endure Panthers' Air Attack

David Lawrence

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 2:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 2:04 PM UTC

The Panthers & Saints didn’t always exist in a relationship in which the Panthers were the big cheese and the Saints were the scrappy underdog. Let's review the NFL odds for top value here.

The Panthers are know the NFL’s lone remaining unbeaten team after taking care of the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday on Thanksgiving. The injury to Tony Romo did not help the Cowboys at all, but Carolina beat down the Cowboys in such a way that it might not have mattered much if Romo was healthy. Carolina has some of the best linebackers in the NFL, some of the surest tacklers you’ll see, with Luke Kuechly leading the way. On offense, Cam Newton has performed like an MVP should. He will give Tom Brady a run for the money for that award and that is something a lot of people who watch the NFL were not expecting to happen this season. Newton, though, is the full package, and he’s putting all his talents to great use.

The Saints, having recently fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, actually played okay on defense this past week. However, the offense scored just six points. It’s a lost season for this team, which simply doesn’t know where or how to fix both sides of the line of scrimmage. Everyone is looking for answers but not finding them. They’ve now lost three straight.


Line Moves
The NFL odds started with Carolina being a 6.5-point favorite. That line has moved up to seven points for the Panthers. The betting public knows that New Orleans just isn’t very good, especially after yet another very discouraging loss. The Panthers are probably going to lose a game before the season is over, but not here.


Notable Injuries
The Panthers have tackle Nate Chandler listed on injured reserve. Tight end Richie Brockel is also on injured reserve. So are guard Amini Silatolu, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, and defensive end Frank Alexander. Cornerback Charles Tillman will miss this game with a knee injury. Wide receiver Philly Brown is listed as questionable for this game with a shoulder injury. Defensive end Mario Addison is questionable with an ankle injury. Defensive tackle Star Lotuleilei is questionable for this game with an ankle injury.

For the Saints, safety Rafael Bush is on injured reserve. So is linebacker Davis Tull. So are backup quarterback Luke McCown, cornerback Keenan Lewis, and running back Khiry Robinson. Tackle Andrus Peat is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Cornerback Damian Swann is questionable with a concussion. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is questionable with a hip injury. Linebacker David Hawthorne is questionable with a hamstring injury.


Handicapping The Game
The fact that the Panthers are unbeaten means less than the fact that New Orleans keeps wildly swinging from one extreme to the next. The Saints were an awful defensive team for much of the past month, but their most recent loss was a game in which their offense got completely shut down. You can’t really trust on rely upon a team like that. Carolina is better, but the Panthers are also consistent, and you know what you’re going to get from them. Take the Panthers for your NFL picks.

Free NFL Pick: Panthers -7 at Bovada

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