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Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints and Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers greet after the NFC Wild Card playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jonathan Bachman—Getty Images
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NFL fans who want to watch the Saints vs. Panthers game on "Monday Night Football" for free tonight have several options for tuning in to this critical NFC South showdown.

While the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers TV broadcast is on ESPN, fans can still live stream "Monday Night Football" for free. All of the ways to watch the Saints vs. Panthers game online for free tonight are explained below.

But first, what about the Saints vs. Panthers matchup itself? Who is the favorite on "Monday Night Football" tonight?

Even though the 6-7 Carolina Panthers are playing at home at Bank of America Stadium, they are the underdogs. The New Orleans Saints, who are 11-2 and have already won the NFC South Division title, are 6.5-point favorites to beat their division rival Panthers. In fact, lately sports books say that the New Orleans Saints have the best odds of winning the Super Bowl in 2019.

But anything can happen in the NFL. Three other strong 2019 Super Bowl contenders — the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, and New England Patriots — lost their most recent games despite being favored to win.

Here's all the info you need to watch the Saints vs. Panthers game — online or on TV — on "Monday Night Football" tonight.

What Time Does the Saints vs. Panthers Game Start Tonight?

"Monday Night Football" TV broadcasts, including the Panthers and Saints game tonight, are handled by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.

ESPN is a pay channel included in most satellite and cable TV bundles. If you have such a pay TV package, all you need to do to watch the Saints vs. Panthers on "Monday Night Football" is find ESPN on your TV.

If you don't have cable, you can still live stream the Saints vs. Panthers for free — at least on your phone, if not another device like a laptop or smart TV.

How to Live Stream the Saints vs. Panthers Game for Free

To live stream "Monday Night Football" and other NFL games for free on your phone, download the newest version of either the Yahoo Sports app or the NFL app. These apps provide free live streams of many NFL games, including tonight's Saints vs. Panthers game on "Monday Night Football."

Exactly what NFL games can you live stream free with the NFL App or Yahoo Sports app? Fans get free live streams of national game broadcasts such as "Monday Night Football" (broadcasted on ESPN), "Thursday Night Football" (Fox and NFL Network), and "Sunday Night Football (NBC), in addition to whatever NFL games are being broadcasted on their local CBS and Fox stations every Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, fans who are using these apps are limited to free live streaming on a tiny screen. The apps only stream NFL games on smartphones — so you can't use them to watch "Monday Night Football" online for free on a laptop, smart TV, or any other larger screen.

How to Watch "Monday Night Football" for Free Online on a Smart TV or Laptop

Consider signing up for a free trial of a streaming TV service with ESPN if you want to watch the Saints vs. Panthers "Monday Night Football" game online for free tonight.

The streaming TV services Hulu Live, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV all include ESPN in certain packages. Prices for these streaming TV packages start at $25 to $45 per month, but new subscribers can check them out for free for about a week during free-trial periods.

Streaming TV services, for those who are unfamiliar, are similar to cable in that they bundle together dozens of pay channels for subscribers. The main difference with live streaming TV is that subscribers stream content on connected devices, rather than watching channels via TV. Streaming TV packages are generally cheaper, with fewer fees, than cable as well.

Which streaming TV service is best? Well, the amenities and included channels vary from provider to provider. Sling TV is the cheapest streaming TV service with ESPN. But Sling also has the fewest channels included in its basic package. Many other streaming TV services include broadcasts of local network TV — like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox — in many parts of the country as well, which is something that is not yet available on Sling TV.

So it's worth checking out all the fine print, and what channels are included (and not) with each streaming TV service before registering for a subscription. And if you sign up for a free trial and ultimately decide you do not want to become a paying subscriber, remember to cancel in time. If you don't cancel before the free trial ends, you'll be charged in full for the first month.

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