Thursday Night Football: Saints at Panthers – 10-29-2014

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New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (+2.5,
49)

A vintage performance by Drew Brees has the New Orleans Saints
back in the playoff picture in the woeful NFC South Division.
The Saints, however, are going to have to prove they can win on
the road to secure a spot and their next test comes Thursday
night when they visit the Carolina Panthers. Brees passed for
311 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday night’s win over Green
Bay, but New Orleans has dropped seven straight regular-season
road games.

Carolina has just one win since beginning the season with
back-to-back victories but still finds itself percentage points
atop the division thanks to its tie against Cincinnati three
weeks ago. The Panthers blew a late lead last week against
defending Super Bowl champion Seattle, squandering several
opportunities in the red zone in a 13-9 loss. Carolina has won
four of the last five games in the series.

TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network.

LINE HISTORY: The Saints opened as 2-point
road faves, but are now -2.5. The total opened 48.5 and is up
to 49.

INJURY REPORT: Saints – C Jonathan Goodwin
(Questionable, leg), RB Khiry Robinson (Questionable, forearm),
RB Pierre Thomas (Doubtful, ribs). Panthers –
RB DeAngelo Williams (Questionable, ankle), G Amini Silatolu
(Questionable, calf).

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Saints (-2) – Panthers
(+1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Saints -0.5

WEATHER: Temperatures in the low-50s with
clear skies.

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Battle for the top spot in
watered down NFC South. Despite a disappointing start, the
Saints vault to the top of the division with a win tonight. To
do so, they’ll need to overcome a sloppy 7-15 SU and 8-14 ATS
mark away from the Superdome since 2012. On the flip side,
Carolina is going downhill fast, having been outgained in each
of its last seven games. A healthy Drew Brees gets the nod over
a wobbly Cam Newton.” Covers
Expert Marc Lawrence.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We opened Carolina +1.5 and
have been forced to adjust upward with more than 75 percent of
the bets on New Orleans. I expect the public will be piling on
the Saints so this will probably get back to the key number by
kickoff. I actually like the Panthers here, Cam Newton often
shows up when the world is watching. I don’t foresee the total
dropping any lower considering it’s a primetime matchup.”
John Lester,
BookMaker.eu.

CHEERLEADER WAR:

ABOUT THE SAINTS (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS, 6-1 O/U):
Rookie receiver Brandin Cooks had his best game as a
professional last week, rushing for one score and catching a
touchdown pass in New Orleans’ 44-23 victory. Cooks’
performance helped take some of the pressure off tight end
Jimmy Graham who is still slowed by a shoulder injury and is
listed as probable. New Orleans is ranked second in the NFL in
total offense and fifth in scoring, averaging 28.4 points.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-4-1 SU, 5-3 ATS, 5-3
O/U):
Running back DeAngelo Williams declared himself
“ready to roll” for Thursday’s game, the first time in four
games since he injured an ankle. Williams rushed for 210 yards
against the Saints in 2012 and will likely share duties with
Jonathan Stewart in the backfield for the Panthers, who rank
27th in rushing offense. Defense has been a problem, however,
as Carolina has surrendered at least 37 points four times this
season.

TWEET BEAT:

TRENDS:

* Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Under is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings.
* Saints are 0-4 ATS in their last four Thursday games.
* Over is 4-0 in Saints last four games overall.

COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, 64 percent of wagers are supporting the visiting
Saints.

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