Matchups Week 3: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Jameis winston

New Orleans Saints (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2) 

Opening Line: Panthers +3.

Game Total: 40.5.

Team Totals: Panthers (18.75), Saints (21.75).

Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.

The Line Report

  •         This line opened as Panthers +3.
  •         This line has moved to Panthers +2.5 as of Thursday evening.
  •         DraftKings Pick’Em has the Panthers +2.5.
  •         Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Panthers +2.5.
  •         This total opened between 40.5 and 41 points.
  •         This total has settled at 40.5 points as of Thursday evening.

Notable Injuries

Panthers: RB Christian McCaffrey (Questionable), LB Frankie Luvu (Questionable), CB Donte Jackson (Questionable).

Saints: QB Jameis Winston (Questionable), RB Alvin Kamara (Questionable), RT Ryan Ramczyk (Questionable), CB Paulson Adebo (Questionable), S Marcus Maye (Questionable).

The Panthers Offense vs. Saints Defense

The Panthers bottom tier offensive line squares off with the Saints elite front four. The Saints have an edge in the trenches in this matchup.

Notes and Observations

  •         The Panthers are 0-2 against the spread this season.
  •         The Panthers are 1-1 on overs this season.
  •       Per The Edge, Baker Mayfield is twenty-sixth in the league in passing yards.
  •         The Panthers passing attack is led by running back Christian McCaffrey (18.9% target share), wide receiver Robby Anderson (24.5% target share, 35.8% team air yards share), and wide receiver DJ Moore (22.6% target share, 32.8% team air yards share).
  •         The Saints have allowed the fourteenth most rushing yards and the sixth-fewest yards receiving to running backs this season.
  •         The Saints have allowed the twelfth most yards receiving on the sixteenth most receptions to wide receivers this season.
  •         The Saints have limited tight ends to the seventh fewest yards receiving on the seventh fewest receptions.
  •         Panthers tight end Ian Thomas (31 routes run, 11.3% target share) is running significantly ahead of Tommy Tremble (10 routes run, 1.9% target share) in Carolina’s passing game. 

The Saints Offense vs. Panthers Defense

As long as RT Ryan Ramczyk is good to go this week, New Orleans has a fringe top-ten offensive line. They’ll face a bottom-tier Panthers front that lacks actual impact players outside Edge Brian Burns. The Saints have a trench advantage in this contest.

The Saints have one of the best collections of skill position players in the league. Wide receivers Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Chris Olave, and running back Alvin Kamara present a problem for anyone. Carolina’s average secondary and linebacker group have their hands full this week.

Notes and Observations

  •         The Saints are 0-2 against the spread this season.
  •         The Saints are 1-1 on overs this season.
  •       Per The Edge, Jameis Winston is fifteenth in the league in passing yards.
  •         Keep in mind that Winston has four broken vertebrae in his back and an ankle issue.
  •         Alvin Kamara sat out last week’s contest. In Week 1, he only had 9 carries for 39 yards rushing while catching 3-of-4 targets for 7 yards.
  •         Kamara’s passing game role with Drew Brees was considerably different than with Jameis Winston.
  •         Kamara was rendered ineffective on the ground in both of his meetings with the Panthers last season. He had 5 catches for 68 yards and a score in one of those contests.
  •         The Panthers have given up the second-fewest yards receiving to wide receivers this season. Keep in mind they’ve also played the Browns and Giants.
  •         The Saints wide receiver trio of Michael Thomas (23.6% target share, 21.8% team air yards share), Jarvis Landry (19.4% target share, 17% team air yards share), and Chris Olave (22.2% target share, 46.7% team air yards share) each have substantial roles in this offense.
  •         Olave saw an astounding 361 air yards last week against the Buccaneers, which is why he leads the league with 399 air yards.
  •         Among tight ends, Juwan Johnson is thirteenth in the league in target share (16.7%) and team air yards share (15%).

This is What You’re Betting On in Panthers vs. Saints

A bet on the Panthers is a bet on an unreliable team operating with a strategic deficit that has their backs against the wall at 0-2. The Carolina Panthers are not without premium talent, and Baker Mayfield has his moments. But we cannot rely on this coaching staff’s ability to craft an opponent-specific game plan on offense. The Saints lost in Carolina last season 27-6 behind a pretty terrible outing by Jameis Winston. So a bet on the Panthers is not only a bet on a desperate team in a divisional matchup but also a bet against Jameis Winston.

A bet on the Saints is a bet on a well-built roster with an edge in the trenches on both sides of the ball. New Orleans’ massively improved wide receiver group paired with running back Alvin Kamara gives the Saints another advantage against the Panthers. However, you have two core concerns in a bet on the Saints here. First, you’d be betting against a divisional opponent, playing at home, in search of their first win. The second is that Jameis Winston is an unreliable quarterback when he’s fully healthy. Right now, he’s playing through multiple injuries.

Awards Market Ramifications: Saints wide receiver Chris Olave is an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate. Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas are Comeback Player of the Year candidates.

Winner/ Confidence Pool: This is my least favorite game on the Week 3 slate. I will likely take both teams in different large-scale winner pools. Whoever I take here will be set at the bottom of my confidence rankings.

Spread Pool: I’m not touching this game.

Survivor: Avoid this contest for survivor purposes.

WATCH MORE: Fantasy Stats to Know for Week 3

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