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Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints - 9/24/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
New Orleans Saints (0-2) at Carolina Panthers (2-0)
Date & Time Sunday September 24, 2017, 1:00 PM (EDT)
The Line
The Line: Carolina Panthers -5.5 -- Over/Under: 48
TV Channel
FOX
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NFL | New Orleans Saints (0-2) at Carolina Panthers (2-0)
USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers meet Sunday in NFL action at the Bank of America Stadium.

The New Orleans Saints need a victory here in order to avoid an 0-3 start for a third straight year. The New Orleans Saints have lost five of their last seven road games. Drew Brees is completing 65.9 percent of his passes for 647 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Brees has two or more touchdown passes in seven of his last 11 games. Michael Thomas and Brandon Coleman have combined for 229 receiving yards and one touchdown while Coby Fleener has eight receptions. The New Orleans Saints ground game is averaging 70.5 yards per contest, and Mark Ingram leads the way with 69 yards on 14 carries. Defensively, New Orleans is allowing 32.5 points and 512.5 yards per game. P.J. Williams leads the New Orleans Saints with 18 tackles, Cameron Jordan has one sack and Marshon Lattimore has two pass deflections.  

The Carolina Panthers would love another victory to start 3-0 for the second time in the last three years. The Carolina Panthers have split their last eight home games. Cam Newton is completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 399 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Newton has one or less touchdown passes in five of his last seven games. Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess have combined for 190 receiving yards on 13 catches while Christian McCaffrey has nine receptions. The Carolina Panthers ground game is averaging 96.5 yards per contest, and Jonathan Stewart leads the way with 105 yards on 33 carries. Defensively, Carolina is allowing three points and 196.5 yards per game. Thomas Davis leads the Carolina Panthers with 14 tackles, Julius Peppers has 2.5 sacks and Luke Kuechly has one interception.

The Saints are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. NFC. The Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC South and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss. The Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings, the road team is 22-9 ATS in their last 31 meetings and the over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.

The last four meetings between the Panthers and Saints have been decided by five or less points, with the last three coming down to a field goal. That would make a lot of people want to take the points with the Saints, but that defense is god awful. The Saints have had some of the worst defenses in the history of the sport, but every year they seem to get worse. I have a hard time backing a team that can't get off the field. The Panthers seem to be slowly getting their swagger back as Newton returns to form, and there's enough weapons for them to be OK without Greg Olsen for a bit. I'll take the Panthers by a touchdown as more of a fade from the defenseless Saints.

Pick:
Carolina Panthers -5.5

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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