Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints: Free NFL Spread Prediction, 12–3–2017

Free NFL Pick by James Gunnar of King Sports Picks

Carolina Panthers (8–3) New Orleans Saints (8–3)

NFL: Sunday, December 3, 4:25 PM EST
Line: Saints -5, 48.5
Last Meeting: 9/24/17 NO 34 CAR 13

A pair of (8–3) teams meets up in NOLA for the lead in the NFC South as the Carolina Panthers travel to take on the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans won the first matchup this season with ease, beating the Panthers on the road 34–13. These divisional rivals have split their head-to-head series three of the past four seasons.

The Panthers will go only as far as Cam Newton can take them but inconsistency has been plaguing this team all season. If Carolina focuses on the running game they are a very effective offense which ranks 5th in the league with 130 YPG. There are times, such as last week, that Cam Newton has struggled but when he has accounted for at least two touchdowns, either by running or passing, the Panthers are 4–1. They have won all five times that his quarterback rating has exceeded 80.

The threshold for New Orleans’ defense is 300 passing yards. When the Saints have held opponents to that number or fewer, they have won all eight games. In the first meeting, the Saints limited Cam Newton to 167 gross passing yards. Drew Brees and the Saints need to put points on the scoreboard to support their mediocre defense. They are middle of the pack in rushing yards allowed and passing yards allowed. The Saints defense had trouble against the Rams potent offense last week, conceding 415 total yards which included 352 passing yards from Jared Goff.

This should be one of the better games of the week and closer than their first meeting earlier this season. However, I do expect the Saints to bounce back from their loss last week and get up for this game at home in the Superdome. Cam Newton has not played consistently as of late, which makes me wary of backing him on the road. Panthers definitely have the edge on defense, however, I like this Saints offense and I especially like Drew Brees playing at home. I think the Saints can do enough to cover the spread at home which is why I will lay the -5 points.

Trends:

Panthers are 7–1 ATS in their last 8 road games
Saints are 22–5 ATS in their last 27 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
Panthers are 0–5 ATS in their last 5 meetings

Panthers vs Saints FREE NFL Spread Pick: Saints -5