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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NFL Picks Week 17: Panthers vs. Saints Start Time, Odds

Two teams making a late surge to the finish line, Carolina and New Orleans, will end their respective seasons this afternoon with an NFL Picks showdown at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Today’s meeting between the Panthers and Saints, which can be seen live on FOX, has a scheduled start time of 1:00pm ET. The latest Panthers vs. Saints NFL Odds are favoring Drew Brees and company at -5 against the spread; the game total is set at 54 points. Carolina is a +190 money line play ($100 wins $190) to win its fourth straight game.

Neither Carolina nor New Orleans will end up where they had hoped (playoffs), but they each have an opportunity to finish the year on a high note and carry some momentum into the off-season.

The Panthers, who recorded just one win in their first seven games, steam roll into today’s game, having won three straight and four of their last five games. Cam Newton and his cohorts have outscored their last five opponents by an average of 9.4 points per contest and all but one of their four most recent victories came by double digits.

Despite Carolina’s late surge, the odds makers are firmly in the Saints corner this afternoon. New Orleans has won its last two games, beating Tampa Bay 41-0 and Dallas 34-31, but the five point line is a bit of a mystery.

The Saints have lost three home games this season while the Panthers have acquitted themselves well in a number of road outings (3-4 away from home, +25 scoring differential on the road). Carolina has also won seven times in its last 10 visits to the Bayou (8-2 against the spread in those 10 games).

Few will line up to go against New Orleans at the Superdome, but with the line at +/-5 one can feel comfortable getting behind a red hot Carolina team.

Free Pick: Take the Panthers +5.

Panthers vs. Saints NFL Picks Week 17:

Carolina Panthers +5 (-110), Over 54 (-110), +190 (Moneyline)

New Orleans Saints -5 (-110), Under 54 (-110), -230 (Moneyline)

NFL Free Picks: Dallas at Washington Betting
What pro football bettors need to know about Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins on Sunday (12/30/12) - a free pick from's Bryan Leonard, with host RJ Bell.