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Monday Night Football Best Bets: Carolina Panthers vs New Orleans Saints

NFL: SEP 10 Panthers at Falcons

ATLANTA, GA SEPTEMBER 10: Carolina quarterback Bryce Young (9) drops back to pass during the NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons on September 10th, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Vaughn Dalzell shares how he’s playing the NFC South matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

Saints (-3) at Panthers: O/U 39.5

The Panthers open their home season versus the Saints as +3 underdogs and this will be the home debut of No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young.

Carolina won two straight at home versus New Orleans and the total has hit 40 or fewer points in four consecutive meetings. The loser of the past four matchups scored 14 or fewer points, which could certainly happen here.

Frank Reich is 0-5 in Week 1, which continued this season, but he is 4-1 in Week 2, so the Panthers are live to win outright. Derek Carr makes his first road start of the season with the Saints in a divisional Prime Time game, which isn’t an ideal spot to play.

The Saints averaged 2.6 yards per carry on 27 attempts in Week 1 against the Titans, while the Falcons found success against the Panthers (5.0 ypc). New Orleans has taken a step back on the ground without Alvin Kamara, while Atlanta is one of the better-rushing teams in the league, so I expect Carr to pass more than New Orleans wants on the road.

These two teams combined for 31 and 34 points in Week 1 and I think we see another low-scoring game. Carr is turnover-worthy on the road (12 INTs on the road in ’22) and Young is inexperienced (20/36 for 1 TD, 2 INTs).

I grabbed the Under 39.5 points at -110 odds and would go down to 38.0. Overs went 12-2 on Sunday and with two divisional games on prime time, I expect some Unders.

I sprinkled the Panthers +3 at -105 odds for a half-unit, but for a few bucks, I threw in Miles Sanders’ first touchdown (+800), Miles Sanders to score two-plus TDs (+1100), and a Carolina defensive touchdown (+950).

Pick: Under 39.5 (1u), Panthers +3 (0.5u)
*Odds provided by DraftKings

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