Updated December 17, 2018 - 1:46 pm
The Saints have gone under the total in their last four games while the Panthers have gone under in three of their last four. Sharp bettors are banking on those trends to continue on “Monday Night Football.”
The consensus total is 50½ at Las Vegas sports books for the NFC South showdown in Charlotte, North Carolina after it opened as high as 54.
“Believe it or not — and it’s very unusual for a Monday night game and very unusual for a Saints game — but we need the over here,” The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback said Monday afternoon. “We opened the total at 52½, it was as low as 49½ and it’s at 50 right now. Sharp money has driven it down.
“The game itself is not a real big decision for us.”
New Orleans is a consensus 6-point favorite over Carolina after the line opened as high as 7.
With the Rams (11-3) losing to the Eagles on Sunday night, the Saints (11-2) have the inside track to the NFC’s top seed. The Panthers (6-7) are in desperation mode after five straight losses (0-5 ATS).
“The overall early action was clearly on the Panthers at plus 7 and plus 6½,” Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said. “The game seems to have settled in at 6, with some action on the Saints at 6.
“This is a much bigger game to the Panthers, especially with the Rams losing (Sunday).”
Esposito expects his book to need Carolina by kickoff. The Panthers are coming off a stretch of four road games in five weeks. They’ve been much better at home, going 5-1 straight up and 4-2 ATS.
The Saints are playing their third straight road game. They didn’t score a touchdown in the first half of their last two games: a 13-10 loss at Dallas and a 28-14 win at Tampa Bay in which New Orleans erased a 14-3 halftime deficit.
The Saints swept all three meetings with Carolina last year and have covered the last four games in Charlotte.