Saints Have Owned Panthers
There's an old cliché in sports that it's difficult to beat a team three times in the same season. But is that true in the NFL?
The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints will meet for the third time this season when the NFC South rivals meet Sunday afternoon in the NFL Wild Card playoff round. The Saints beat the Panthers in both meetings and according to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, New Orleans is a 6.5-point home favorite. The total, meanwhile, sits at 48.5 points and 53% of the betting tickets are on the Saints to cover the spread.
So is it true that it's hard to beat an opponent three times in the season? NFL teams are 13-7 in that situation so no, that's not necessarily true. Granted, a team has not finished 3-0 over an opponent in a season since 2009 when the Cowboys swept the Eagles, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's "hard" to accomplish the feat.
The Saints have owned the Panthers in this series both straight up and against the spread. Carolina is winless at 0-6 against the spread in its last six games versus New Orleans. The Panthers are also just 1-4 against the number in their last five trips to New Orleans, although the underdog has covered the spread in six of the last seven meetings.
New Orleans has struggled against the spread recently, failing to cover in five of its last seven games overall. That said, the Saints are also 23-4 against the spread in their last 27 home games versus a team with a winning road record, are 13-4 against the number in their last 17 divisional games, and are 5-2 at the betting window in their last seven home games.