Among a competitive NFC South, the New Orleans Saints will play the Carolina Panthers on "Thursday Night Football," a major step up from last Thursday's game. This game is a must-win for both teams, so let's see what this prolific match-up features.

Battle of offensive lines

The Saints have done a great job so far at protecting their franchise quarterback, Drew Brees. They certainly win the offensive line battle with Carolina, as the Panthers have given up 23 sacks and 56 QB hits compared to the Saints who have given up 13 sacks and 35 QB hits. The Panthers act like their MVP can't be broken, but from all the punishment he has taken, concussion issues have plagued Cam Newton.

If Carolina wants to rebound from their devastating defeat at home last week, they will need to keep Cam off the ground, which shouldn't be too hard against the porous Saints defensive line.

Cam's composure

Can Cam Newton keep his morale up when he's losing? He hasn't shown mental fortitude so far in the season, blaming losses on blown calls by the refs. But complaining won't win him any games. Cam needs to get back to his Superman brand of football, which mainly consists of having fun. Once the fun stops, he stops playing. By contrast, Brees is a Hall of Fame quarterback with deadly accuracy and poise, seen through his game-tying drive last week against the Broncos. That's what a championship quarterback looks like, as Brees has totaled 24 touchdowns to 7 interceptions so far.

Unfortunately, Cam doesn't look close to that level at the moment, with only 10 touchdowns to 7 interceptions for the Panthers.

The bet

Carolina is favored at home at -3. Just like Monday night's prediction, I see this game staying close. I like to avoid betting on division games because they are always tight and hard-hitting.

With that in mind, it's ideal to take the Saints at +3. The total is at 51.5 and looks primed to go over. Both the Saints and Panthers can score 35 points each, especially against both defenses. When we see two glass-cannons face off, expect plenty of scoring in a back-and-forth shootout.

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