The Saints are significant 6.5-point road favorites (with a betting total of 50.5 points) as they face the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Monday night (8:15 p.m., ESPN). If the spread and total markets aren’t appealing, perhaps a look at the available prop wagers will be more intriguing.
Panthers first half team total: 10.5 points (Over -115, Under -115)
Drew Brees and company are by no means slow starters (eighth in first quarter scoring and first in second quarter scoring), but the Saints’ defense certainly is. New Orleans’ stoppers are 24th in first quarter points allowed and ninth in second quarter points allowed. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Panthers were able to pounce on their division opponent in the first half.
Cam Newton’s unit is 10th in both first and second quarter scoring. They could certainly notch a pair of first half TDs (with Christian McCaffrey likely to contribute at least one). Also consider Carolina as a +122 underdog in the ‘team to score first’ market. It is the riskier wager however, because as stated before, Brees can move the football with the best of them early in games.
The play: Panthers first half team total Over 10.5 points (-115)
Longest TD of the game: 48.5 yards (Over -115, Under -115)
Both the Panthers’ and the Saints’ defenses leave something to be desired when it comes to stopping the ‘big play.’ New Orleans has allowed 11 passing plays of 40 or more yards this season, tied for 30th in the NFL, while Carolina is right behind at 10 passing plays of 40 or more yards allowed (28th).
Brees and Newton both have big arms and are unafraid to take shots down the field. It would not be shocking to see playmaking running backs Alvin Kamara and McCaffrey shed a tackle or two and make a 50-yard play with their legs at some point in proceedings either. Take the Over on this prop with confidence.
The play: Longest TD of the game Over 48.5 yards (-115)
Player to score a TD (all listed players)
As mentioned above, McCaffrey is the engine that keeps the Panthers offense going. He has eight TDs in his last five games alone. So even though he faces the league’s top-rated rush defense, McCaffrey is a good bet to find the endzone at some point.
As for Kamara, he seems due for a big game after being held without a TD three straight times. He registered two TDs on 126 total yards in the most recent meeting between these two clubs.
Unfortunately, oddsmakers have made the respective odds on these two tailbacks fairly small. So let’s parlay them in the hopes of making a decent score.
The play: Alvin Kamara (-175) and Christian McCaffrey (-150) to score a TD Parlay (+162)