Gone are the days of Drew Brees for the New Orleans Saints but Jameis Winston gave them a renewed sense of hope.
Carolina is also off to a positive start with former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and star running back Christian McCaffery getting it done.
|Game: New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-0) |
Location: Bank of America StadiumDate: Sunday, 19 September
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
|New Orleans Saints||-3½||-180||o44|
The New Orleans Saints hold a 28-25 lifetime record against the Panthers, including the last four meetings.
Following a 33-14 win by the Panthers in 2018, the Saints have come up with the goods. They scored a 34-31 win at home in 2019 before winning 42-10 later that season.
It was a similar story last season; the Saints won the first game 27-24 before scoring a huge 33-7 victory on the road.
Their respective rosters might look different in 2021, but the head-to-head matchup is always worth looking at for divisional games.
New Orleans Saints
Next game: vs New England Patriots
Jameis Winston had a field day in the 38-3 thrashing of the Packers, who looked like they didn’t want to be there. Any concerns about Drew Brees retiring were put to bed early, as Winston, a former Tampa Bay quarterback, was superb.
What a start for Jameis as the New Orleans Saints’ QB1 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Bxp85FNiSq
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 12, 2021
Winston went 14-20 for 148 yards, which doesn’t seem all that impressive, but he threw five touchdown passes. It’s one of the better season debuts we’ve seen.
“I’m grateful to be with this team,” Winston told Sports Illustrated. “I think anyone can see that this is a better team than I’d ever been with, so that brings comfort to any quarterback.
He was helped by Alvin Kamara, who had 83 yards on 20 carries. Winston and Kamara dominated the game, which saw the Saints win as underdogs and blow the spread out of the water by 39 points.
If you bet on NFL, you need to know the injuries before kick off. The big injuries for the Saints are Marshon Lattimore, Ken Crawley and Tre’Quan Smith.
Lattimore is out with a thumb injury, and Crawley and Smith are out with hamstring complaints.
Next game: vs Houston Texans
The 19-14 win was closer than it seemed after the Panthers allowed a late touchdown to close the gap, but the win was never in doubt for moneyline bettors.
Sam Darnold stepped up to the mark with 279 yards on 24-35 passing, which will give him confidence after a tumultuous time with the Jets. He controlled the game from the opening quarter, but having a solid offensive line helped his nerves.
Check out our new mixed-reality panther that debuted today 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/8DwEvam9KM
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 12, 2021
Christian McCaffery chimed in with 98 yards on 21 carries, so he was busy in his return from an injury-plagued 2020. The former Stanford star didn’t break out for any huge runs, but he picked up the yardage available.
The under hit the mark, in what was expected to be a low-scoring affair. Only 33 points were scored, with nine points coming in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers don’t have too many injury worries. Myles Hartsfield is out indefinitely with a wrist injury and John Miller with an illness.
A.J. Bouye remains suspended and is set for a Week Three return.
Betting on the Game
We respect the ability of the Carolina Panthers, but the Saints appeared to be on another level last week. Jameis Winston has more scope and natural ability than Sam Darnold, so we think the -3½ point spread won’t be enough for the Panthers.
Most of the early money has come for the visitors, who are playing their first few weeks on the road. Playing in Carolina isn’t anything strange for the Saints, and having won the last four games in the series is a bonus.
The -3½ is currently -115, so we expect this number to move to around 4½. It’s not much difference in the grand scheme of things, but four point wins in the NFL are more common than you would think.
There isn’t anything negative to say about the Saints based on their Week One effort. They scored 38 points and allowed only three, which is an impressive number against a usually stout Green Bay Packers outfit.
Confidence is an important factor for the Saints, but more importantly for Winston. He thrives on being given the starting role, so we’re expecting backup quarterback and sometimes fullback Taysom Hill to remain on the sidelines for the time being.
Carolina would have interested us at +7½, but we couldn’t entertain it at the lower spread. It leaves us with no wriggle room, as we don’t see the Panthers being good enough on offense to keep up with the Saints.
It wouldn’t shock us to see the line move considerably throughout the week, so we advise jumping on the line before it moves.
It’s an interesting line set by bookmakers. The Saints are only -3½ favorites, but they are the heavy -180 favorite in moneyline markets.
Our NFL predictions expect more money to come for the Saints moneyline, which could firm into -200 at kickoff.
If bettors were going to entertain taking the Panthers at +3½, then the moneyline odds of +160 should appeal. It’s a value price for the 1-0 team, but we’re on the other side.
New Orleans is a better bet in points spread markets, but adding the Saints to your NFL parlays is a good betting strategy.
Bookmakers have set a modest line of 44 points. The Saints opening game featured only 41 points and the Panthers opening game featured just 33 points.
That points towards the under 44, and we’re confident that it won’t be a high scoring affair. We expect most of the points to come from the Saints, and we can’t see the Panthers putting up a lot of points on the stout Saints defense.