NFL Week 14 Odds: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Somehow division rivals Carolina and New Orleans have made it all the way to Week 14 without playing one another, but Sunday night’s game at the Superdome is huge as the winner will take over sole possession of first place in the NFC South and have the inside track at the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. The teams play again in two weeks in Charlotte.
The Panthers (9-3) have won a franchise-record eight consecutive games after starting the season 1-3. With a win against New Orleans on Sunday Night Football, Carolina can become the fifth team ever to win nine consecutive games after starting a season 1-3 or worse. The last to do so was the 1993 Houston Oilers who started 1-4 and won 11 straight.
The Cats routed Tampa Bay 27-6 last week. Cam Newton passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another and Carolina’s defense, which leads the NFL in fewest points allowed (157), limited the Buccaneers to 206 total net yards and no touchdowns. Newton is having the best stretch of his career with 13 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns while completing 66 percent of his passes during this eight-game winning streak.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees ranks fifth in NFL history with 49,713 career passing yards. With 287 passing yards on Sunday night against the Panthers, Brees would become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards. Brees, who will play in his 183rd game on Sunday, can reach 50,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history. The previous mark was 191 games by Peyton Manning.
New Orleans was held to its fewest yards ever under Sean Payton in Monday night’s 34-7 loss in Seattle. . Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gave the Saints’ defense fits, compiling 429 yards of offense while gaining 6.2 yards per play. It was easily the worst performance of the season for the Saints’ vastly improved defense.
But the Saints are 6-0 at home this season. Brees leads the NFL with a 122.2 home passer rating (minimum 150 attempts), including 19 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The Panthers have arguably the best overall defense in the NFL this season. They are stout against the run and are able to get to the passer with just four rushers most of the time. They are second in the league against the run (allowing 80.2 yards rushing per game) and in sacks (39).
WAGERWEB ODDS: Saints -3.5 (45.5)
PANTHERS NOTES: Have won club-record 8 in row…QB CAM NEWTON aims for 3rd consecutive win vs. NO. Is only player with 50+ pass (59) & 25+ rush (28) TDs in 1st 3 NFL seasons…In past 8 vs. NO, RB DE ANGELO WILLIAMS has 8 TDs (7 rush, 1 rec.). In past 7 meetings, has rushed for 860 yards (122.9 per game) & 7 TDs. In last game vs. NO, rushed for 210 yards & 2 TDs. RB MIKE TOLBERT rushed for career-high 3 TDs in last meeting. Had 4 rush TDs in 2 meetings last year…WR STEVE SMITH has 100+ yards or TD in 3 of past 4 vs. NO. WR BRANDON LA FELL had TD last week. TE GREG OLSEN has TD in 4 of past 6…Lead NFL in fewest points allowed (157). DE GREG HARDY has 16 sacks in past 21. Since entering NFL in 2012, LB LUKE KUECHLY leads NFL with 266 tackles. Since 2010, DE CHARLES JOHNSON is 1 of 2 in NFC with 40+ sacks (41.5) & 10+ FFs (10). Had 2 sacks in last meeting. S MIKE MITCHELL is only player in NFL with 4+ INTs (4), 2+ sacks (2.5) & 2+ FFs (2).
SAINTS NOTES: QB DREW BREES has completed 57 of 78 (73.1 pct.) for 785 yards (392.5 per game) with 9 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 132.7 rating in past 2 home games vs. Car. Is 6-0 at home in 2013, completing 175 of 238 (73.5 pct.) for 2,141 yards with 19 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 122.2 rating…In his last game vs. Car., RB PIERRE THOMAS rushed for 110 yards & averaged 12.2 yards per carry. RB DARREN SPROLES aims for 4th in row vs. Car. with 100+ rec. yards or rec. TD. Since 2011, leads NFL RBs with 216 catches, 1,872 rec. yards & 16 rec. TDs. RB MARK INGRAM has rush TD in 2 of 3 meetings. TE JIMMY GRAHAM has 6 100-yard games, tied for most in season by TE in NFL history. Since 2011 (incl. playoffs), leads NFL TEs with 264 catches & 3,438 yards. Ties for 1st with 35 TDs. Has TD in 4 of past 5 meetings. In past 2 home meetings, WR MARQUES COLSTON has 12 catches for 197 yards (98.5 per game) & 4 TDs…DE CAMERON JORDAN has 9.5 sacks in past 11. Has sack in 2 of past 3 meetings vs. Car.
WAGERWEB TRENDS: Panthers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win. Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win. Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Panthers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 meetings in New Orleans. Panthers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings. Road team is 19-7 ATS in their last 26 meetings.