THURSDAY night football sees New Orleans travel to Carolina. Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) gives his verdict here.
New Orleans @ Carolina | Friday 01:25 | Sky Sports 1
When these two Division rivals met back in Week 6, it was the expected shootout as Drew Brees threw for 465 yards and two Touchdowns in a 41-38 win.
Expect more of the same tonight in terms of crash bang action and lots of points. I'm not so confident in the same result as New Orleans are a very different team away from the Dome.
Some of the stats from that first clash were interesting. Not least of which is that Cam Newton rushed for just two yards. Still, he has a line of 40.5 with Bet365 tonight.
A lot of fans would have changed their perception of this clash after results on Sunday. The Saints can feel hard done by after a last second loss at home to Denver in the most bizzare fashion whilst Carolina will be sore to say the least after a needless defeat by Kansas City. Riverboat Ron decided to throw the ball from inside his own 10 yard left with the teams level and overtime a certainty. One gamble too many.
This Panthers team is nowhere near the outfit that swept all before them on the way to defeat in the Super Bowl. It is difficult to define what the issue is but offensively they have not moved the ball with anything like the speed or agression they managed in 2015.
Cam is taking regular hits, which he has been extremely quick in pointing out, but its more than that. His go to guy Greg Olsen has seen nowhere near as much of the ball particularly in the last few weeks.
First thoughts were that Carolina would overpower a Saints defence not known for its toughness in recent season but they are improving and did enough to get the win on Sunday.
I actually do quite like the Saints chances here. I have a little bit of a man crush on Drew Brees as I admitted last week but he seems to have one of his best attacks in many years.
Brandin Cooks, Coby Fleener, Willie Snead and the rookie Michael Thomas have impressed hugely. The ground game continues to develop. Brees and my fantasy team could have a big night.
The outright result is an incredibly close one to call and all due respect if you have the completely opposite view to mine. I have to take Saints +3.5 as value but NAP is certainly points related at over 52 available at 10/11 various.
It was 79 points last time out and this one could be worth staying up for on Thursday night. It's certainly better than Browns at Ravens that's for sure.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Pathers – Over 52 Points (10/11 Bet365)