NFL Week 3 Pick: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:52 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 8:52 PM UTC

It's early, but the NFC South looks obvious to me. There are three good teams in the division -- and then there are the Saints.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-6, 48)

Have you see that Saints defense this season? Have you seen the Panthers' D? This should be one of your top Survivor Pool choices of Week 3. Survivor Pick: Carolina.

Why does New Orleans coach Sean Payton still have a job? His team has been 7-9 in three straight years and four of the past five -- and will be lucky to get to seven wins in 2017. Following a 10-point season-opening loss in Minnesota, the Saints were picked apart by an angry Patriots team this past Sunday, 36-20. Drew Brees is off to a solid start as usual, but why has his club yet to top 20 points? The Adrian Peterson signing absolutely has been a bust. You have even heard some rumors of the team trying to trade him, although good luck getting a bag of balls at this point. I wouldn't say the unbeaten Panthers look like their 2015 team yet but they sure look a lot better than last year's club. However, the Cats suffered a crushing injury in last week's ugly 9-3 win over Buffalo as Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, arguably the most important offensive player on the team behind Cam Newton, broke his foot and will miss 6-8 weeks. That's big -- like the Chiefs losing Travis Kelce or Patriots losing Rob Gronkowski big.

  • Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
  • Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Free NFL Pick: Panthers -6Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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The Saints haven't had a good defense since winning the Super Bowl, no matter what schemes or  new coordinators they try. It's rather baffling. They were torched by Sam Bradford in Week 1 (not acceptable) and then Tom Brady (acceptable) in Week 2. New Orleans' 777 passing yards allowed are the most allowed in franchise history through two games -- and the sixth most of any team since the NFL-AFL merger.  The Panthers have been dominant defensively in allowing just three points each to both San Francisco and Buffalo -- granted two terrible offenses. Carolina won't be trying to pass much, especially after losing Olsen, but run the ball down the Saints' throats. These teams split two meetings last year, each winning by a field goal at home. They tend to play high-scoring games in New Orleans and low-scoring in Charlotte.

  • Under is 5-0-1 in Panthers last 6 games overall.
  • Under is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings in Carolina.
Free NFL Pick: Under 48Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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