2016-NFL-Week 11-Thursday night football-Saints at Panthers game preview


NFL Week 11 Thursday Night Football Betting Preview
New Orleans Saints (4-5 SU; 6-3 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-6 SU; 2-6 ATS)

Sportsbook.ag Odds: Carolina (-3); Total set at 52.5

Week 11 of the NFL season gets going with a NFC South showdown between two teams that are watching their seasons teeter on the brink of elimination. It’s not quite panic time in New Orleans or Carolina with six games remaining after this one, but the loser of this contest is likely going to have too much ground to make up in the NFC to remotely consider a run at the playoffs. The stakes are getting higher and higher each week in the NFL and it will be interesting to see which team comes out ahead in this one.

New Orleans took the first meeting between these two by a 41-38 score a little over a month ago as they won it with a FG with 11 seconds remaining in the game. These two teams traded big plays and points with one another all afternoon, and it was the second straight meeting that ended with a score of 41-38.

In fact, three of the last four meetings between these two teams have seen the winner put up 41 points so it’s no surprise to see a total of 52.5 get posted for this game.

Yet, while many believe – and for many good reasons statistically – that we will have another shootout between these rivals, I’m not so sure that will be the case. Yes, both teams are statistically poor on defense and the strength on both sides is the ability to put up points in a flurry, but the stakes are much higher in this matchup then they were a month ago and we should see these defenses step up a bit.

For one, the Saints defense appears to be playing a little better at the same time their offense has been stalling. Three of the last four Saints games have cashed ‘under’ tickets, and the only ‘over’ in that span came on the road in a blowout win over San Francisco where it was clear New Orleans let up in the second half. New Orleans is also on a 0-3-1 O/U run in their last four appearances on TNF and have a 2-5 O/U run going on the road.

Meanwhile, as the Panthers try to climb out of this hole they dug for themselves this year, it’s been the defense that has been carrying the weight. They held Kansas City to 3 points in the first half last week before multiple turnovers by Carolina’s offense put them in bad shape numerous times and cost them the game.

The week before that they held the Rams to just 10 points, and while no one is comparing those offenses to what the Saints bring to the table, the Panthers defense should rise up to the challenge again this week.

We also can’t ignore the complete ineptitude the Panthers offense has shown the past two weeks. Cam Newton and company were shut out in the second half against KC, and the fact that they only managed 13 points – with only two FG’s in the second half of that Rams game is a huge cause for concern.

Carolina realized in that first meeting with New Orleans that their chances for success decrease greatly when the game turns into a shootout and at 3-6 SU, it is the Panthers who definitely have more on the line this week.

Best Bet: Under 52.5 points