The NFC South is tightening up by the week, and Week 13 features a premier matchup between rivals who both have their eyes set on the divisional title. The Carolina Panthers head to Louisiana this Sunday to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

 

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-4.5), Sunday at 4:25 PM ET 

The New Orleans Saints (8-3) currently sit atop the NFC South despite an equal record with their Week 13 opponents, the Carolina Panthers (8-3). The tiebreaker was determined in a Week 3 Saints’ victory over the Panthers, which saw Drew Brees toss for three touchdowns in a 34-13 blowout. Fast forward 10 weeks and the Panthers have a chance to redeem themselves and take over the top spot in the NFC South.

Carolina has won four straight games, with the most recent coming against the lowly New York Jets, 35-27. Carolina has challenged teams with a balanced running attack with running back Jonathan Stewart and quarterback Cam Newton, and by spreading the ball around through the air. Defensively, they rank second in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game and are able to shut down most offenses in the league.

The Saints have been nothing short of spectacular on offense this year. They rank second in yards per game (409.4) and fourth in points scored per game (29.3). They’ve been able to once again count on their veteran quarterback, Drew Brees, to carry the load as he’s put together another huge year behind center. After a 26-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 12, Brees and the gang will need a big response against a thriving Panthers squad.

 

Philadelphia Eagles (-6) at Seattle Seahawks, Sunday at 8:30 PM ET

This week’s Sunday nighter takes place in the Pacific Northwest. The 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks (7-4). There’s no hotter team than the Eagles right now. They’ve won nine straight games and have locked up the NFC East. 

The Seahawks are coming off of an important victory over their Westcoast rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. While not a huge test, the ‘Hawks needed a win to keep pace with the division-leading Rams. Week 13 will be a significant test for Seattle, as they’ll be up against the NFL’s top-scoring offense, led by potential MVP candidate Carson Wentz (+110). 

 

Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (-3), Sunday at 1:00 PM ET

The Atlanta Falcons have managed to hang around when most dismissed them as done. Winners of three straight games, they sit only one game back of the Saints and Panthers for top spot in the NFC South. They’ll need to be sharp this Sunday if they hope to defeat a Vikings team that ranks top five in team defense.

Not only has Minnesota’s defense been stellar this season, they’ve received unexpected production out of their third-string quarterback, Case Keenum. Since filling in for Sam Bradford after both he and Teddy Bridgewater went down with injury, Keenum has led the Vikings to a 9-2 record, which is good enough for top spot in the NFC North. Now facing a streaking Falcons team, the Vikings will have to find a way to hold up against Atlanta’s first-rate offense.

 

*Odds as of November 30, 2017