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The New Orleans Saints close out regular season heavily favored at the Carolina Panthers

Vegas’ confidence is high that the New Orleans Saints can close out the season on a high note.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints wrap up their season once again taking on the Carolina Panthers. This time on the road to Charlotte where the Saints are 13-12 all-time in the regular season. In order for the Saints to be in position for the numb er one seed, they’ll have to start by getting a win against a divisional opponent and familiar signal caller before advancing to the playoffs. If nothing else, a win puts them in the driver’s seat for the #2 seed at worst.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s 3:25 PM CT matchup, let’s look at their history since 2006, how the Saints have performed wrapping up the season against the Panthers - which happens often, and the odds that Alvin Kamara captures his first 1,000-yard season. The tends show good news for Kamara

Saints-Panthers since 2006

Since the Payton-Brees era began the Saints are 15-14 straight up against the Panthers. They are also 13-16 against the spread, have hit the over 16 times, and combined for the under 13 time.

In their last ten games against the Panthers when favored by 6.5 or more, like they are this weekend, the Saints are 3-7 against the spread, but are 8-2 straight up. The Saints tend to win these matchups against the Carolina Panthers, but not usually by a wide margin. Of those ten wins, four were by three points or fewer.

New Orleans is 7-7 straight up in 14 games played on the road against the Panthers, including two bouts without Drew Brees as the starter (Mark Brunell in 2010 and Luke McCown in 2015). In those games they were also 8-6 against the spread, covering in all but two straight up wins. Interestingly, the Saints though are a punitive 5-9 in the second matchup of the season with the Panthers.

This series has gone back and forth quite a bit since the Saints picked up steam, a pretty volatile rhythm though the Saints most recently have won seven of the last ten matchups including five of the last six.

Final Game vs. NFC South Opponents

This will be the eighth time these teams close out the regular season in the last 15 league years. In those games, the Saints are 2-6 straight up, have covered the spread only twice - both wins while the teams combined for the overall but once.

However here is a list of Saints quarterbacks who have played in those games. Starters notated with an asterisk.

Drew Brees*
Luke McCown*
Mark Brunell*
Teddy Bridgewater*
Jamie Martin
Chase Daniel

In both of the wins in 2012 and 2019, Drew Brees was the starter and played basically a full game in each. It’s looking like in this week’s matchup Brees will start again, but how much he plays remains to be seen based on the action happening in Chicago (GB at CHI) and Phoenix (SEA at SF).

AK1K?

The SBD props folks seem pretty confidence that Alvin Kamara can notch his first career 1,000-yard rushing season on Sunday. The 2017 draft pick only need 68 yards to hit the 1K mark. He’s pulling 10/11 odds on the endeavor.

ODDS KAMARA WILL GET 1,000 RUSHING YARDS ON THE SEASON (over 67.5 yards in Week 17): 10/11 (-110)

Which makes sense when you dig in. While the Panthers are allowing only 118.7 team rushing yards per game, they have given up a 68+ yard individual rusher eight times through 15 games. That includes giving up 83 rushing yards to Kamara when these teams met back in Week 7.

I’d say that I’d bet on Kamara hitting that important mark in this game as long as he’s given the snaps and opportunities to get there. Remember, Michael Thomas was given his chance to break the single-season catches record against the Panthers to close out the 2019 season. Don’t see why Kamara wouldn’t get his chance at the 1,000-yard season while potentially stacking a couple scores on top of his league-leading and franchise record 21 touchdowns while he’s at it.


OVER/UNDER

Brees Passing Yards: 244.5
Brees Longest Completion: 37.5
Winston (NO) Total Snaps: 1.5
Bridgewater Passing Yards: 256.5
Bridgewater Total Completions: 23.5
Kamara Rushing Yards: 68.5
Sanders (NO) Receiving Yards: 54.5
Kamara Touchdowns: 1.0
Saints Total Sacks: 2.5
Panthers Total Turnovers: 1.5

ODDS ON WHO WILL GET NFC #1 SEED:

Packers: 1/3 (-300)
Saints: 9/2 (+450)
Seahawks: 13/1 (+1300)

ODDS FOR FIRST RECEIVING TD

Cook: 7/1 (+700)
Moore: 8/1 (+800)
Kamara: 8/1 (+800)
Anderson: 9/1 (+900)
Sanders: 9/1 (+900)
T. Smith: 10/1 (+1000)
Samuel: 10/1 (+1000)
FIELD: 5/2 (+250)


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