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Saints vs. Panthers Week 2: Who Has the Oddsmakers’ Edge on MNF?

This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research. Click for predictions and betting insights for the other half of Week 2’s Monday Night Football doubleheader between the Steelers and Browns.

Get set for an NFC South clash in Charlotte with a big Panthers vs. Saints prediction, plus the latest prop betting insights from our friends at FanDuel.

Player props can be useful in a variety of ways — from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player’s potential to produce in daily fantasy football on FanDuel. Here, we’re going to focus on the former.

Utilizing numberFire’s projections as a guide, here are some NFL player props bets that look appealing.

Let’s get into the best bets, plus a Saints vs. Panthers prediction.

Please note that betting lines and numberFire’s game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.

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Chris Olave Any Time Touchdown (+200) / Chris Olave 25.5 Yards Longest Reception (-114)

Week 2 ends with two games and we’ll start with the New Orleans Saints visiting the Carolina Panthers.

The Saints find themselves as slight 3.0-point road favorites tonight, where the game total is at a very modest 39.5 total. There might not be a ton of offensive scoring tonight but there are still some good props to consider.

When it comes to the Saints’ passing game, Chris Olave should be front and center in every game and tonight is no different.

The Panthers are going to be without their top cornerback, Jaycee Horn, who was placed on injured reserve last week. Coming into the season, the Panthers’ secondary was ranked 21st according to Pro Football Focus but now moves ahead without its best cornerback.

This immediately puts Olave in an elite spot for several props. In Week 1, Olave finished with a 30.3% target share, 33.1% air yards share, 13.6 average depth of target (aDOT), while playing on 78.1% of the snaps, and running a route on 86.5% of dropbacks. That led to 10 targets, 8 receptions, and 112 receiving yards, but no touchdown.

Getting deep down the field is nothing new for Olave, who ended last season with a team-high 42.0% air yards share and 14.2 aDOT. Last season, Olave broke off long receptions of 25 yards or more seven times.

That seems to be built into the Saints’ offensive plans this season, as they had four different receivers haul in catches for 25 yards or more in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans. That was highlighted by Olave grabbing a 45-yard reception.

All of this sets up for Olave to have a big game and find the endzone for the first time this season.

Derek Carr Over 31.5 Passing Attempts (-122)

The Saints’ backfield situation remains a bit murky, which should have them lean on the passing game tonight.

Alvin Kamara is suspended for three games, while backup running back Kendre Miller is listed as questionable for the second straight week.

This is the same situation as Week 1, where Jamaal Williams was the main back and went for 18 carries, but a very modest 45 yards. The only other running back to see action was Tony Jones Jr., who had a single carry for five yards.

What does this all mean? The Saints don’t have a deep or efficient running game, which should lead them to pass the ball more.

Derek Carr ended Week 1 with 33 passing attempts for a solid 305 yards, an encouraging sign in his first game with a new team. That was good for a 57.81% pass play percentage, which is 17th in the league.

Given the lack of depth in the Saints’ backfield and the injured Panthers’ secondary, Carr should have plenty of chances to pile up the attempts tonight.

— Tom Vecchio

Saints vs. Panthers Prediction: NFL Week 2

The numberFire projection model gives the Panthers a 51.4% chance to win.

A spread of 3 points and a total of 39.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook implies a final score projection of approximately 21.25-18.25.

Click here for more numberFire NFL projections.

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