With the Patriots falling to the Broncos in overtime on Sunday night, the Panthers remain the lone unbeaten team in football. There are people who would suggest that the Panthers have been undervalued all season, and would look to the closing line of a pick’em in their Thanksgiving Day contest in Dallas to prove their point.
But it appears as though the Panthers are getting the respect that they deserve this week, as they’re listed as 7.5-point road favorites in New Orleans at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Often times, the situation can play a big part in the outcome of a football game, and Carolina comes into this week in a horrible spot. The Panthers just steamrolled a team on a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving day, and subsequently the sportsbooks have no choice but to inflate the number.
The advanced point spread in this contest was Panthers -3.5, which just goes to show how much one week's worth of games can affect public perception.
Make no mistake: this is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for the Saints. New Orleans lost 27–22 to Carolina back in Week 3, and with little to play for at this point in the season, the Saints would take the utmost pride in ruining their divisional rivals’ perfect season.
In that Week 3 battle, Luke McCown, who started for an injured Drew Brees, was 31-of-38 pass attempts for 310 yards, so the Saints will definitely like their chances with their starting quarterback under center this time around.
The Saints haven’t found themselves in the underdog role many times over the past few seasons, but they’ve thrived in that situation, going 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as underdogs according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Additionally, the Saints are superb in the revenge spot, posting an 8-3 straight-up record in their last 11 games after losing the previous game in a matchup. With the general public lining up to back the undefeated team here, we’ll take the contrarian approach as we fully expect the Saints to keep this game close. Grab the 7.5 points.