Game time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Saints -3
FanDuel: Saints -3
BetMGM: Saints -3
Caesars: Saints -3
Week 3 of the NFL season is taking shape, and it's been a good start at the books for some of the best we have to offer. Sean Murphy and Wayne Root were 8-2-0 last week in the NFL and have some big picks in store as we get to the interesting parts of the NFL season with the first quarter nearing its end. What will Week 3 hold? Make sure you're locked on to bigal.com in order to see what our champion handicappers are picking. You'll want to see what our champion handicappers like Sean and Wayne have in store.
Saints - Panthers preview, analysis and prediction
Saints: lost 20-10 vs. Buccaneers
Panthers: lost 19-16 at Giants
I want to believe in the New Orleans Saints and feel they are where they need to be, with the potential come-up better than the current results. But then they blow chances against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and all of a sudden things start going to hell.
But here come the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, fresh off a 2-0 start with one-score losses to Cleveland and the New York Giants and life really doesn’t make sense anymore. But the Saints are favored by a few points and unless Baker Mayfield gets it together, the Saints are likely to rebound.
New Orleans kept things close last week before everything imploded against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a 3-3 game after three quarters, but Jameis Winston threw three interceptions and brought everyone back to Earth as it pertains to Mr. 30-for-30.
Winston threw for 236 yards and a touchdown, and somehow outplayed Tom Brady (18 of 34, 190 yards), but the Bucs’ defense looked dominant for the second week in a row and that’s why things are the way they are in the NFC South to this current point.
"Everyone in that locker room is playing with a banged-up something," Winston said. "What is most important is offensively I have to do a better job of executing on third downs and I can't give them the football."
Winston is dealing with a back injury that may involve multiple fractures, but of course he’s not going to let people think he’s banged up. Winston has to play better, though, if the Saints want to have a chance to compete. Winston did not play well in Week 1 until he got going in the fourth quarter. This was the complete opposite this time around, but if the Saints want to compete this year – without having to go to Taysom Hill – Winston needs to be better.
Speaking of quarterbacks that need to be better or else their team is going to spiral downward for the remainder of time, what in the world is going on with the Panthers? Poor Baker Mayfield was supposed to have a happiness reprieve in Carolina, but here the Panthers are off losses to the Giants and Browns that have sent the city of Charlotte into a tailspin.
Mayfield was just 14 of 29 for 145 yards and a touchdown, and Christian McCaffrey looked back to his old form with 102 yards on the ground, but the Giants’ defense overpowered that Carolina offense. That unit, given the talent at the skill positions, shouldn’t be struggling.
"We prepare our (tails) off," Mayfield said. "We work during the week. There's no question about that. We're ready to go. We just have to come out and execute."
The Saints have been a great play as a favorite, especially on the money line side of things, going 18-8 in their last 26 instances. On the road as a favorite, the Saints have won 10 of their last 13. Meanwhile, the Panthers are 7-16 straight up in their last 23 while 3-6 ATS as a home underdog.
It’s not been the best of starts for the Saints, but to get to 2-1 would be an accomplishment for them. Safe to say, though, New Orleans absolutely misses Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Saints by 10
Saints are 6-1 ATS off a home loss in their last seven.
Saints are 11-6 off an under in their last 17 instances.
Panthers are 4-13 ATS at home in their last 17 home games.
Passing: Jameis Winston -- 513 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Taysom Hill -- 95 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Jarvis Landry -- 139 yards
Defense: Two tied -- 0.5 sacks
Passing: Baker Mayfield -- 380 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Christian McCaffrey -- 135 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Robbie Anderson -- 134 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Brian Burns -- 2 sacks
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