Saints vs. Panthers Spread Pick
The New Orleans Saints are expected to rest a lot of starters Sunday when they take on the Carolina Panthers at 1:00 p.m. ET. Are the Saints still worth a play for bettors as a large home favorite?
305 Carolina Panthers at 306 New Orleans Saints
1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, December 30
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Saints are 7.5-point favorites to beat the Panthers. The total, meanwhile, sits at 43 points. As of this writing, 66% of the public betting tickets are on the Saints to cover the point spread.
Speaking Thursday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera declined comment on specific players he might rest in Week 17 but reiterated he wants to "evaluate some young players." "We have some plans for some guys," was as specific as Rivera was willing to get. It certainly sounds like he is planning to give Christian McCaffrey a bit of a breather, but the Panthers don't have any other young players at running back worth evaluation. It could simply be Cameron Artis-Payne running out the string of the Panthers' sideways season.
New Orleans Saints
Teddy Bridgewater will start in Week 17 against the Panthers. Bridgewater isn't the only domino expected to fall as the Saints have home-field advantage locked up with nothing to play for in Week 17. It will be Teddy's first start since 2015 in what will likely be an audition for his pending 2019 free agency. Even if they're not officially ruled out prior to Sunday, all of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram are expected to see minimal snaps in favor of Dwayne Washington, Tre'Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood, and Austin Carr on Sunday.
NFL Betting Trends
The Panthers are 0-4 against the spread in their last four road games and are 1-6 against the number in their last seven games overall.
The Saints have covered the spread in four of their last five home games and are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
Bridgewater is a better starting option than Kyle Allen if you’re rolling with a backup quarterback in Week 17 but this point spread is still too high. With neither team having anything to play for, this game should resemble that of a fourth preseason game. In a matchup of backups, I’ll grab the points.
NFL Week 17 Prediction: Carolina Panthers +7.5