To say the New Orleans Saints started the 2021 season on a high note would be an understatement. New Orleans defeated the Green Bay Packers by a score of 38-3 in an impressive performance.
With the game being moved from New Orleans due to Hurricane Ida, the spread had shifted in the Packers’ favor. The public was all over Green Bay. PointsBet told Louisiana Sharp in an email last week that the Packers were taking 86% of both bets and money. Unfortunately for Green Bay bettors, New Orleans controlled the game.
Week 1 Recap
The Saints outgained the Packers 322-229, and they won the turnover battle 3-0. Jameis Winston had a stellar debut for the Saints, as he completed 14 of his 20 pass attempts for 148 yards and five touchdowns. Alvin Kamara ran the ball 20 times for 83 yards.
Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers was held to just 133 yards through the air. He did not throw a touchdown, and the Saints picked him off twice.
New Orleans will look to take the momentum from that big win into Sunday’s matchup against NFC South foe Carolina (Fox, 1:00 p.m. ET).
The Panthers also started their season with a win. Like New Orleans, they also covered the spread. The Panthers closed as 3.5-point favorites against the Jets, and they escaped with a 19-14 win, holding on to cash bettors’ tickets when New York’s two-point conversion attempt resulted in an incomplete pass.
Both teams saw their games stay UNDER the total in Week 1.
Who Is The Public Backing?
Bettors were not backing the Saints at a high rate last Sunday. However, things have changed after their strong Week 1 performance.
PointsBet told Louisiana Sharp in an email Wednesday that 87% of spread bets and 77% of the handle are on the Saints to cover against the Panthers.
PointsBet also stated that 66% of bets are on the OVER, while 69% of the cash is on the UNDER.
As NFC South rivals, the Saints and Panthers play each other twice a year. The Saints lead the all-time series 28-25.
These teams are familiar with one another, but both enter this matchup with new faces at quarterback. Winston now leads New Orleans, while Sam Darnold is the signal-caller for Carolina. Darnold spent the first three years of his career in New York with the Jets, and the Saints have never faced him.
Saints fans should be familiar with Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Brady was an offensive assistant for the Saints from 2017-18. He more famously served as the passing game coordinator at LSU during their historic 2019 championship season.
Despite the new faces, there are still some intriguing betting trends to keep in mind for this matchup:
- Over the last seven seasons, the Saints are 6-1 ATS when playing the Panthers in Charlotte.
- The road team covered the spread in both matchups last season.
- The Panthers are 10-7 ATS under Matt Rhule.
- The Panthers are 0-4 ATS in Week 2 over the last four seasons.
- The OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams going back to 2018.
- The OVER has cashed in each of the last five meetings in Carolina.
Divisional games come with a heightened sense of urgency, and each team will be looking to move to 2-0 overall on the young season. It should be a fascinating matchup that can be enhanced with a little betting action.
All odds used were available at time of publishing on Thursday, September 16.