The Carolina Panthers started the regular season 1-3, while the New Orleans Saints cruised out to a 4-0 record, but they are both now tied atop the NFC South at 9-3. This is the first of two games between the Panthers and Saints in the next three weeks that will likely decide which team gets the opportunity to host a playoff game come January.
During its eight-game winning streak, Carolina's defense is allowing only 12.38 points per game and it has allowed 13.1 points per game overall this season. Since 1985, 18 teams have allowed 157 total points or fewer through 12 games -- four of those teams won the Super Bowl, all 18 made the playoffs, 13 won playoff games and the 18 teams had an average of 12.22 total regular-season wins.
Since joining the Saints, Drew Brees has been pretty spectacular in prime time. He is 13-3 SU and 12-4 ATS at home in prime time, throwing 42 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions. Since 2010, he is 9-0 SU and ATS at home in prime time with 29 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. During that winning streak, the Saints have outscored their opponents by an average of 20.44 points per game and by an average ATS differential of plus-14.16 points per game.
According to ESPN Insider's PickCenter, the public is currently on the Saints as a home favorite at a clip of 70 percent.
Let's get some analysis of the line from Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and an ATS pick on the game from three wiseguys:
Matchup: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Spread: Opened Saints -4; now Saints -3
Total: Opened 48; now 46.5