MNF Saints vs. Panthers Week 2 odds and predictions
Every week, VSiN will be doing an in-depth dive on the week’s Monday Night Football game. This week there just so happens to be two. For the first of the two Week 2 Monday night games, we're looking at the meeting between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. While the Saints are coming off a Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Panthers are searching for their first win with rookie quarterback Bryce Young at the helm. And they likely feel good about their chances of picking up that victory here, as this is a beatable opponent and Carolina's fans will be jacked up for this one. With that out of the way, keep reading for our Saints vs. Panthers preview, picks and player props.
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Saints vs. Panthers Spread
Under head coach Dennis Allen, the Saints are 3-5 both straight-up and against the spread when playing on the road. They’re also 4-7 both SU and ATS in games with lines of +3 to -3. What that says to me is that this New Orleans team can’t be trusted when playing with any sort of adversity. And the fact that the Saints are also 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS against division opponents under Allen only helps support that.
I know Derek Carr is a huge upgrade over what the Saints had at quarterback last year, but he’s not exactly a player that goes out and consistently handles his business — and he certainly hasn’t been comfortable as a road favorite in his career. And New Orleans’ offense looked all out of sorts in a Week 1 win over the Titans. The Saints were unable to get the running game going in that one, rushing for only 69 yards total. And while Carr’s 305 passing yards might say otherwise, the passing game wasn’t exactly rolling either. If it was, the Saints would have scored a lot more than 16 points.
Overall, it just isn’t hard to envision a scenario in which Carolina’s defense shows up and makes life difficult on the New Orleans offense — even without cornerback Jaycee Horn. The question is whether Young and the Panthers offense can find a way to score points against the Saints. Young didn’t look very comfortable in Week 1, as he missed a lot of throws he normally makes. And Carolina just never quite looked like a threat to drive the ball down the field. But Young should be a lot more settled in Week 2, and I think playing at home will help him. He has also had some more time to get familiar with his pass catchers, which is another bonus.
Head coach Frank Reich is one of the brightest offensive minds in football, so I think he’ll be able to look at the film with Young and coach up his rookie quarterback. And I also think Reich will get his team fired up after last week’s poor outing. When he was with the Colts, his team was 5-3 SU and 6-1 ATS when coming off a loss of 14 or more points. So, Reich clearly knows how to get through to his team after poor showings.
Saints vs. Panthers Total
The total for this game is sitting at a very low number, which likely means that the oddsmakers are begging for people to take the Over. With that in mind, you’re probably best taking the Under and hoping for something like a 21-17 outcome. And considering these teams combined to score a total of 26 points last week, you’re very likely going to have a good shot at hitting an Under here.
These two teams have also played very low-scoring games against one another recently. Last year, the Under hit in both of their meetings. One of those games saw the two combining to score 36 points, while the second meeting between them had only 17 total points. And the Under has actually hit in each of the past five meetings between these two.
It also doesn’t hurt that the Saints didn’t run the ball well last game because they’re going to go out of their way to try and fix that here. And the more both of these teams run, the better off Under bettors will be.
Saints vs. Panthers Player Props
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Bryce Young Alternate Pass Yards - 225+
This play is going off at nearly +200 odds and I don’t get it at all. Young threw for only 146 yards in his start against the Falcons last week, but he still attempted 38 passes in that game. Sure, it would have been great to see a more productive version of Young right off the bat, but going into Atlanta and winning in your first career start isn’t easy. I expect Young to look at lot more comfortable with this being a home game, and I don’t think this is a very high bar to clear. Young also left a lot of yards on the table with missed throws to open receivers in Week 1. I don’t see him doing that regularly moving forward. He’s an accurate passer and just needs to find some confidence at the pro level. And if D.J. Chark does end up playing this game, you’ll wish you jumped on this.
Saints vs. Panthers Best Bet
If you aren’t up for taking the risk on the Panthers winning this thing outright, go ahead and take the points here. But I think Carolina is going to come away with a win in Young’s home debut. Nothing we saw out of New Orleans last week suggests that this team is the runaway favorite to win this division. The offense seems like it still needs some time to find some rhythm, and I’m not sure it’ll happen in Week 2. These Panthers fans will be fired up for the start of this new era, and the added adrenaline will help the Carolina defense. And Young should be able to make enough plays with his arm to lead his team to a win.
Bet: Panthers ML (+140)
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