An NFC south clash is on the slate this week as the last place Carolina Panthers travel to face the third place New Orleans Saints. Maybe this is not so much a clash, but it could be the last gasp of each team’s chances at a respectable season. For the Panthers, fans and the front office want to see growth for Bryce Young and the offense. Meanwhile, the Saints are wanting to see their offense also show some signs of improving behind Derek Carr and the play calling of Pete Carmichael. A loss for the Saints virtually ensures they will not win the NFC South and miss the playoffs, so the pressure is high. Each week, CSC will preview and highlight some wagers for every Saints game. Thanks to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook for the lines for the Saints vs Panthers week 14 best bets.
NFL Week 14 Saints vs Panthers best bets
Blake Grupe over 1.5 field goals(-130)
There will be no game line in this week of props. The Panthers and Saints are the two worst teams against the spread in the entire NFL. Each team has only covered the spread twice in the entire year. The Panthers have pushed twice while the Saints have just pushed once for the entire year. It is just not worth trying to understand what each of these teams are going to play like week to week. For the first prop this week, go with the hot hand, or hot foot in this case. After a rough couple of weeks, Saints kicker Blake Grupe has missed just one kick in his last three games and even that was a 50+ yard attempt. With the red zone issues the Saints continue to have, Grupe is the Saints best offensive weapon and goes over two field goals this week.
Adam Thielen over 52.5 receiving yards(-115)
Adam Thielen has been a stabilizing presence in the Panthers receiving group this season. After signing this off-season, Thielen instantly gelled with rookie Bryce Young and currently leads all Panthers receivers in most significant categories. He has run a route on nearly 88% of the Panthers passing plays while garnering the most targets and yards on the team. When Young is trying to get the ball out of his hand quickly, he is looking for Thielen, targeting him as the Panthers first read on nearly a third of their plays. This receiving line seems low with how the Saints defense has played recently. Thielen averages nearly 63 yards per game so far this season and should have at least that against the Saints.
Carl Granderson over .75 sacks(-130)
One of the few bright spots for the Saints defensive line has been the play of Carl Granderson. Granderson signed a four-year extension at the beginning of the season, and it looks like this was a worthwhile investment for the Saints. He has already matched his career-high in sacks through just 12 games this season at 5.5. In addition to that, Granderson has more quarterback hits and tackles for loss than any other season in his career. This week, he has a chance to pad those stats even more against a weak Panthers offensive line. The Panthers have allowed the fourth most sacks in the league this season at 47. Granderson should feast in this matchup and easily tally a sack in this divisional matchup.
Long shot of the game
AT Perry anytime TD scorer(+400)
One of the most disappointing performances when given the opportunity last week was Juwan Johnson. Johnson looked to be healthy finally and should have had a breakout game for the season. Unfortunately, he had some costly drops once again and came up small. This should indicate a rising use of rookie A.T. Perry in the offense going forward. With Michael Thomas still sidelined with injury, a big-bodied pass catcher has to emerge for whoever is under center for the Saints. A.T. Perry had the third most routes run last week and that should continue to climb, especially in the red zone. Perry scores this week against a bad defense.