The Carolina Panthers (11-5) will travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to clash in a Vegas odds matchup with the New Orleans Saints (11-5) in a Wild Card Round chance to play in the Divisional Round. The Panthers offense come into this game ranked 19th in the league and the defense at 7th. The Saints Offense is ranked 2nd and the defense 17th. New Orleans has won both matchup played this season between these two teams.
The odds makers favorite, New Orleans Saints (-280), QB Drew Brees heads into the postseason with 4,334 passing yards and 23 passing touchdowns. The Saints RB Mark Ingram had 23 carries for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ingram landed a 5th ranked position for his rushing yard efforts and second for touchdowns. Ingram and Kamara together are an almost unstoppable rushing due. Brees also has three main passing targets on his side in Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Ted Ginn that do the majority of the receiving work for the Saints. Ingram is always a passing option. The odds makers favorite for this game is the New Orleans Saints at -7(-105) and the road dog Carolina Panthers at +7(-115). The game total is listed as 48(-110) for the over/under bettor.
The Carolina Panthers (+240) are in their first postseason game in four years. Stats show that when two teams meet three time in the same year the underdog has a 35% chance of winning the last and only game. For the Panthers that’s good news because this is a win or go home game. The all-time series matchup of these teams has the Panthers in a 24-22 lead. QB Cam Newton isn’t a slouch. Newton threw for 22 touchdowns, 3,302 passing yards and rushed for 6 touchdowns on 754 yards. When Newton isn’t carrying the ball, RB Jonathan Stewart is the top choice. Stewart rushed for 680 yards and 6 touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess are the top receivers for the Panthers with 13 touchdowns collectively. The Panthers have Funchess listed on the Wild Card Weekend injury report with a shoulder injury with a game status of questionable.
When the Saints first played the Panthers this season they were 0-2. That win over the Panthers sparked a 7 game winning streak for the Saints. Can Cam Newton and the Panthers snuff out Brees and the Saints or will the Saints win the final of a three game matchup for a chance to enter the Divisional Round? CBS has the action with a 4:40 pm ET kickoff. Let the games begin.
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