Week 15 in the NFL wraps up Monday night when the 6-7 Carolina Panthers host the 11-2 New Orleans Saints. Carolina is still alive in the NFC playoff hunt, though they need some help from other teams mostly because of a current 5 game losing streak. Even if they can get the upset and win, they still will need to face the Saints in New Orleans in week 17, so I'd say their season is pretty much over. They have been having a great season at home this year, going 5-1 thus far.
Despite that solid home record, they are a 6 point underdog, and the over/ under is currently at 50.5 points. New Orleans already won their NFC South division, and are still in the hunt for the overall NFC crown with the LA Rams. New Orleans has played well at home and on the road. They are actually a tad better on the road this year at 6-1, compared to 5-1 at home. The Saints have a 65.8 % chance of winning this game according to the ESPN Power Football Index. Carolina is +225 with the money line, while New Orleans is -275. I don't have any doubt the Saints will win outright, but against the spread? 6 points is a lot to give up. Carolina has dropped the past 3 against the Saints, and the line has dropped half a point since opening, and Newton does tend to play well on Monday night games.
The Panthers are 5-8 against the spread, while New Orleans is 10-3. I think the Saints win by more than 6 points. If they win out, they clinch the conference, so this will be a game where they'll want to get out to an early lead, and then build on it rather than just sit back and wait for time to expire, so I would take New Orleans minus 6 points. I also think Newton and co. do enough to score a few times and get this game over the 50.5 point mark. Saints win 31-24.