GLENDALE AZ - OCTOBER 10: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 30-20. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Drew Brees
Carolina has lost 18 of its last 19 games as an underdog, a role they find themselves in at home to the Saints in Week 2. But is the total the best play of the day?
And they do so against a team they have dominated on the road (7-3 ATS past 10 trips to Carolina) and as 3-point road favorites, according to the NFL odds menu at OddsShark.com.
"Carolina is a rising team, but they have been horrible in the underdog, losing 18 of 19 SU over the past few seasons," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com, provider of lines to SBNation.
"The UNDER is also attracting some interest, in part because eight of the past nine meetings between these teams in Carolina have gone UNDER the number."
Still, a huge percentage of bettors at one sportsbook are on the Saints, despite a line move during the week. "We are seeing 90 per cent on New Orleans and the line moved from -1 to -3," said Kevin Bradley of Bovada.
Many expect Robert Griffin III to be great, but no one could have predicted his dominant performance over the New Orleans Saints. The Saints had absolutely no answer for RGIII as the rookie went 19/26 with two touchdown passes and 320 yards passing in leading his team to a 40-32 upset as an 8-point underdog.
Jonathan Vilma's presence and leadership on defense was clearly missed.
Hoping to build on a solid year last year, the Carolina Panthers also stumbled in their season opener as they dropped 16-10 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a 3-point road favorite. Cam Newton did eclipse 300 yards passing, but had only one passing touchdown and two interceptions.
The Panthers looked good on defense in allowing just 16 points and 258 total yards, but they obviously get a much tougher test this week against Drew Brees and the Saints.
The Saints have been a powerhouse for so long that it is hard to anticipate them falling to 0-2 on the season. While they are a better home team than they are on the road, they still have a respectable 17-8 SU record in their last 25 road games.
But after having no answer for Robert Griffin III at home last week, what suggests that they will be ready for Cam Newton this week?
New Orleans has won each of the last four games between these two teams, but Carolina is 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings. Will that matter with such a small spread this week? How much will Sean Payton's absence be felt for the Saints going into this huge early-season test?
There are more questions than answers surrounding this game, but in the end it is too difficult to pass on New Orleans giving up just a field goal considering the track record of this team and Drew Brees.
PICK: New Orleans -3