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Saints vs. Panthers Week 9 TNF Betting – NFC South Rivalry

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers Preview

When: Thursday, October 30th 2014 at 8:30pm ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina
Watch: NFL Network

The New Orleans Saints 3-4 (3-4 ATS) earned a much-needed home win on Sunday night against the Packers (44-23). The Saints had a great performance, but now they have to head on the road to play their NFC South rival, the Carolina Panthers 3-4-1 (5-3 ATS).

Carolina scored a FG late to take a 9-6 lead over the Seahawks, but Seattle marched down the field and scored a TD to win. Carolina is now winless in three consecutive games and their schedule isn’t going to get any easier from here on out either.

Saints @ Panthers Point Spread & Over/Under

Odds Courtesy of the Bovada Sportsbook.

I don’t blame the bookies for opening this line at –1, but I expect the line to increase to –2.5 for the Saints once public action starts to come in on the road favorite. I don’t have like the total at all because both of these teams have shown crazy inconsistency.

Previewing the Battle for the NFC South

It’s still a little early in the season to call this a must-win game for either team, but it’s an important division match-up. Carolina is in first place in the NFC South, but the Saints would take over first place in the division if they can pick up a win on the road on TNF.

This is a tough game to predict because of the inconsistency we’ve witnessed from these two teams this season. The Saints haven’t been able to string together two wins in a row this season, but this is a great spot for them despite the fact that they’re on the road.

New Orleans has one of the most balanced offenses in the league. They average 312.3 PYPG (2nd), 133.0 RYPG (7th) and 28.4 PPG (5th) on offense. Mark Ingram is healthy again and he just rushed for 172 yards on the ground against the Packers last week.

I was expecting the Panthers to return a top 10 defense this season, but they’ve struggled. Carolina’s defense has allowed opposing teams to score 26.0 PPG (24th). They’ve been giving up 243.2 PYPG (18th) and 135.2 RYPG (28th), which has to improve.

Part of the problem for the Panthers defense stems from the offense not being able to move the chains consistently, but both units will have to step up if they want to contend for the NFC South. The offense has been just as poor as the defense.

Carolina’s offense averages 20.9 PPG (24th), 239.6 PYPG (17th) and 92.9 RYPG (27th). I really like Kelvin Benjamin and think he’ll be a superstar in the next 2-3 years, but other than him and Cam Newton sporadically, this offense is void of big playmakers.

DeAngelo Williams is expected to suit up for this contest, which will improve the Panthers run game. However, running on the Saints isn’t easy. The Saints defense is allowing an average of 101.1 RYPG (10th), 289.3 PYPG (31st) and 26.9 PPG (26th).

The Saints allowed Aaron Rodgers to throw for 418 yards, but they only allowed 1 passing TD and forced two INT’s. If Rob Ryan can get his defense to perform similarly to last week against the Packers than the Saints should have no problem beating Carolina.

I don’t see this Panthers defense having an answer for the Saints offense. Drew Brees isn’t having a big season on paper, but he has still played well. The speed the Saints have at WR will open up the field and allow Ingram to have another big day on the ground.

In order for the Panthers to win this game they’ll need Newton to play like he did against the Bengals. Newton will need to run the football a lot to move the chains and once the defense has to use a LB to spy the QB it’ll open up passing lanes downfield.

Saints vs. Panthers Picks

Carolina is 3-1 SU against the Saints in the last four H2H games and I expect that trend will have some people bet on Carolina to get the job done at home. I just don’t trust Newton to have a big game and he’ll need one to hang around with Brees and the Saints.

Both of these teams know how important this game is when it comes to the NFC South race. The Saints would be in a bad situation with a loss. The Saints need to get Ingram going early to take pressure off Brees and force the Panthers to guess on defense.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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