New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Two NFC South rivals meet up for the first time this season when the New Orleans Saints (1-0, 0-1 ATS) travel to take on the Carolina Panthers (0-1, 0-1 ATS). The Saints started off the season with a 16-15 win over Tennessee at home but did not cover the 3-point spread as favorites. The Panthers lost in Atlanta, going down 24-10 to the Falcons as 3.5-point underdogs. The Panthers won both matchups last season, but each team is featuring new quarterbacks this season. The Saints are currently listed as 3-point road favorites. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 EST Monday night from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte and can be found on ESPN.

Carr Leads Saints to Week 1 Win

Derek Carr said the game against Tennessee was one of the most physical games he has ever played. The quarterback was sacked four times, but was still able to pass for 305 yards and the game’s only touchdown. In a battle of field goals, there were eight in the game, Carr’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Rashid Shaheed was the difference maker. Carr also hit Shaheed with a 41-yard pass to Shaheed in the 4th to maintain possession of the ball and run out the clock in a close finish.

The Saints did most of their damage through the air against Tennessee. Chris Olave (8 rec, 112 yards) and Rashid Shaheed (5 rec, 89 yards, 1 TD) each had productive days on the outside. Michael Thomas made his return adding another 5 catches for 61 yards. Jamaal Williams made his Saints debut after coming over from the Lions, he was the lead back but finished with just 45 yards on 18 rushes, averaging only 2.5 yards per carry. Taysom Hill was on the field, but saw a drop in production, he carried the ball for just 3 yards on 4 carries.

The Saints defense carried the team as they did not give up a single touchdown, had three sacks, three interceptions and held the Titans to 2-12 on third down conversions. Linebacker Demario Davis led the way with 10 tackles, and DE Carl Granderson had 1.5 sacks. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore was a ballhawk, he had an interception plus 4 pass deflections.

Alvin Kamara is still serving his suspension and will miss this game. Offensively, RB Kendre Miller and TE Juwan Johnson are listed as questionable. On the defensive side, S JT Gray is listed as questionable, while DE Payton Turner was added to the IR.

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Bryce Young Struggles in Debut

The number 1 pick in the draft had a slow start to his career as the Panthers suffered a loss in their opener. Young went 20-38 for 146 yards with 2 interceptions with just one touchdown. After the game, Young took ownership of the loss by saying,

“It’s on me, I have to do a better job of executing…. I did a poor job of taking care of the ball and managing certain situations, I’m going to try to grow and learn from this”. Young was able to record his first career touchdown pass on a 4-yarder to Hayden Hurst in the second quarter.

The Panthers can lean on a pair of running backs while Young gets accustomed to the league. Miles Sanders took the majority of the carries with 18 for 72 yards, while Chubba Hubbard got spot time with 9 carries for 60 yards. The Panthers need a receiver to step up, TE Hayden Hurst had the most receptions with 5, while Miles Sanders caught 4 out of the backfield. New addition Adam Thielen only had two catches for 12 yards.

The Panthers’ defense held the Falcons to just 221 offensive yards in the game. Former first-round pick Derrick Brown had the most productive day, the defensive tackle had 8 tackles and 2 tackles for a loss, including a sack. Linebacker Brian Burns added another two sacks, but the secondary did not have any interceptions or pass deflections.

Star wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. is questionable with a hamstring injury. OT Taylor Morton is also questionable, while CB Jaycee Horn is doubtful. G Brady Christensen was recently added to the IR.

Best Bets

Full-Game Side Bet


Both teams feature new quarterbacks, but the veteran will adapt to his new team faster than the rookie will. Bryce Young had a tough preseason opener with only 21 yards and no scoring drives, and he did not play well in the season opener with only 146 yards and more interceptions than touchdowns. On the other side of the field, Carr threw for over 300 yards and made clutch plays down the stretch to win a close game in his first game with New Orleans. The Saints’ defense was excellent on all levels and did not allow a single touchdown against the Titans. Bryce Young will have a difficult time leading drives against a team that had 3 sacks and 3 interceptions last week. The Saints are still without Kamara, but Williams is a capable fill-in until he returns. The Saints’ young receivers, Olave and Shaheed, far outperformed any of the wideouts on Carolina. The Saints have the better quarterback, offensive weapons, and defense.

Take the Saints to win and cover.


Prediction: Saints -3

Full-Game Total Pick


The Panthers hired Thomas Brown to be their offensive coordinator, and the pressure is on to find ways to score. Brown will manufacture ways for Bryce Young to be successful in their home opener, whether it be designed runs or quick reads that fit his skill set. The Saints offense is due to explode, Carr threw for over 300 yards in the opener and spread the ball to all of his offensive weapons. When the Saints lineup with Olave, Shaheed, and Thomas all on the outside, they are impossible to cover. This is a relatively low total to cover, the Saints will do their part, and the Panthers have their back against the wall offensively. Even if the Panthers lose, they need to prove they can score some touchdowns with the way their team is constructed.

Take the over.

Prediction: Over 39.5

Written By
Paul Biagioli , “Paul Biagioli”

Paul has been a sports fan his entire life, and was an All-Conference basketball player at The University of Scranton. He is currently a high school basketball coach and a mathematics teacher with a Master’s in Business Administration. This unique combination gives Paul the ability to find mismatches from a coach’s perspective while having the ability to analyze statistical data to spot advantages. Paul will provide you with an array of statistics, trends, and analytics to prepare for any match-up. Follow Paul for up-to-date analysis and all your betting needs. We are thrilled to have Paul on our team. 

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