On Monday Night Football, the New Orleans Saints face the Carolina Panthers in an NFC South matchup. In this article, find a Saints Vs. Panthers preview, as well as our best bet which is Panthers +3.
New Orleans Saints Vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction & Best Bet
Bryce Young’s NFL debut was disappointing as he ranked dead last in the NFL with a 36.3 PFF passing grade and second-worst with just 3.8 yards per attempt. He also threw two interceptions to Falcons safety Jessie Bates III, who baited Young twice on the same type of throw. The Panthers’ lack of a downfield passing threat allowed Bates to cheat down into the box and “break the rules,” as Frank Reich called it.
Part of the Panthers’ lack of a downfield passing game came as a result of their poor pass protection. Young was pressured on 45.2% of his dropbacks, the sixth-highest rate in the NFL last week. However, I expect that rate to be reduced this week against a Saints’ defense that lost a lot up front over the offseason.
The Saints ranked dead last in pass rush win rate last year per ESPN and proceeded to lose two of their top three players in total pressures from last season. Despite facing a Titans offensive line most people have rated very poorly in Week 1, the Saints ranked just 27th in pass rush win rate, per ESPN.
With a cleaner pocket to work with, I expect to see more of the talent that made Young the first overall pick in the NFL draft, especially without the added challenge of playing in front of a hostile road crowd. It’s also huge that D.J. Chark is trending towards playing this week, as he provides a boost to a limited receiving group.
The Saints barely beat the Titans last week, and arguably shouldn’t have with some questionable officiating decisions aiding them in a one point win. Derek Carr was solid, but things get tougher for him this week on the road against a stout Carolina defense led by standout defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.
I like the Panthers to get the win in Young’s home debut as they can take advantage of a Saints’ roster that lacks high-level production in the trenches on both sides of the ball. My numbers make this line Saints -1.1, so we’re getting good value with the Panthers catching the full field goal at home.
New Orleans Saints Vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction & Best Bet: Panthers +3
New Orleans Saints Vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds
The Panthers are 3-point home underdogs in this game, and that’s crucial as 3 is one of the most key football numbers. If you bet the Panthers +3 and the Saints win by a field goal, you would push on your bet. The total is set at 39.5 points for this game, making it one of the projected lowest-scoring games of the week.
New Orleans Saints Vs. Carolina Panthers Key Injuries
Both the Sainsts and the Panthers enter this Monday night showdown with some injury concern. Most notably, the Panthers will likely be without starting CB Jaycee Horn and the Saints will likely be without TE Juwan Johnson.
New Orleans Saints Vs. Carolina Panthers Key Matchups
The Saints and Panthers both have new starting quarterbacks, and while Derek Carr and Bryce Young will carry much of the narratives heading into this game, there are other key matchups you should be aware of on Monday Night Football. Let’s take a look.
Chris Olave vs. Panthers’ Secondary
Saints fans were rightfully excited to see second-year wideout Chris Olave catch passes from Derek Carr this season, and the duo are off to a great start with Olave catching 8 passes for 112 yards last week. The Saints moved Olave all over the field as he had nearly an even split of snaps from the slot and out wide.
Unfortunately, the Panthers will be without cornerback Jaycee Horn for this game as the former first-round pick has suffered yet another injury ailment. C.J. Henderson, a fellow former first rounder, will fill in for Horn, and he has a lot to prove after ranking 123rd out of 128 qualified corners in PFF coverage grades last season.
Donte Jackson didn’t fare much better last season, ranking just 103rd in PFF coverage grades. The Panthers will need to get creative with bracket coverage and safeties Vonn Bell and Xavier Woods will need to mind their Ps and Qs on the back end to prevent Olave from getting behind them for deep completions.
#Saints WR, Chris Olave so far:
31% Target Share
— Alfredo Brown (@ThePretendGM) September 10, 2023
Brian Burns vs. Ryan Ramczyk
The Saints’ offensive line has a lot of issues, as I mentioned above, but they can breathe easy with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who ranked seventh out of qualified right tackles in PFF pass blocking grades. Ramczyk was the Saints’ only offensive lineman who had even an above-average pass-blocking grade last week.
Ramczyk will be tasked with blocking against Brian Burns, one of the league’s best young pass rushers. Burns had five pressures in the one game he played against the Saints last season. Burns wrecked house in Week 1, finishing with two sacks and an elite 91.1 PFF pass rush grade, the third-best among qualified edge rushers.
The Panthers’ secondary has some holes and we know Derek Carr likes to push the ball downfield, so the key for their defense will be getting pressure on Carr. Burns needs to be the best player on the field on Monday for the Panthers to win this game, and he’s certainly capable of doing just that.
Brian Burns played lights out pic.twitter.com/eQfRmoDAyB
— =͟͟͞Blande (@JustBlande) September 11, 2023