It's a disappointing final game for both the Saints and Panthers, who had playoff hopes but will instead meet in Week 17 with nothing on the line. But NFL oddsmakers still expect a high-scoring game between two of the NFC's premier quarterbacks in Cam Newton and Drew Brees.
For the Saints, Sunday's game will be the emotional capper to a tumultuous 2012 season, as well as the home finale. On top of that, a loss would give New Orleans, currently 7-8, a sub-.500 finish for the first time since 2007, when the team finished 7-9. At 6-9, Carolina, meanwhile, will try to avoid matching its 2011 record of 6-10.
Though both teams have had their share of ups and downs, oddsmakers expect New Orleans to come out on top, with the Saints currently favored by 5.5 points. Bettors have moved that line up from its opening spot of four points. With an over/under of 54 points, it's clear that Las Vegas sees a big offensive game for both squads. That mark is the highest currently announced over/under of any Week 17 game.
Though the money's on New Orleans, the Saints haven't inspired much hope against the spread this year. New Orleans is 8-7 against the line, and only 4-3 at home. Carolina is also 8-7, but has mustered a 5-2 mark on the road against the spread. And with Newton matched up against the Saints' awful secondary, the Panthers have a good chance to triumph as the underdog Sunday.
Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 30.