The Carolina Panthers have a 5-1 spread record in their last six games, with the ‘over’ going 4-2 in that span. They now face their second straight home game in this week's matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who are 1-2 ATS in their three road games.
Sportsbooks opened Carolina as a four-point favorite, with early NFL betting action on the Vikings driving the number down to three. NFL odds makers first set the ‘total’ at 47, which was lifted to 47 ½ at some shops
after initial wagers favored the ‘over.’
Panthers pull away from Redskins
Carolina ended a three-game losing streak with last Sunday’s 33-20
win as a 1 ½-point home favorite against the Washington Redskins. The
Panthers outscored Washington in the second half, 24-14, notching three
red-zone touchdowns in that stretch.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 18-of-23 attempts for
256 yards. The rookie finished with a season-high 127.5 passer rating,
while adding 59 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Newton found wide out Steve Smith for a team-high 143 receiving
yards, logging seven receptions. Smith’s mate Brandon LaFell caught his
squad’s sole touchdown pass as one of his two catches.
The Panthers’ defense held Washington to 92 rushing yards, while
recording three sacks. Cornerback Chris Gamble snagged his first
interception of the year, while linebacker James Anderson notched a season-high
The contest’s combined 53 points leaped ‘over’ the ‘total’ of 44
½. Carolina recorded no turnovers in its 36 minutes of possession, while
being flagged for 13 penalties that totaled 105 yards.
Vikings unable to rally at home
Minnesota logged a second straight defeat in last Sunday’s 33-27
loss as a 10-point home dog against the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings
saw a 17-13 halftime lead erased quickly, allowing 20 unanswered points from
Green Bay in third quarter.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder made his first NFL start,
tossing two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Florida State
University alum connected on 13-of-32 passes, finishing with 219 yards through
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson dashed for 175 yards out of the
backfield, making 24 carries. The fifth-year running back reached the end
zone once, extending his streak of games with at least one touchdown to three.
The Vikings’ defense gave up 335 passing yards from Packers
quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who completed a stellar 24-of-30 attempts. Minnesota’s Jared Allen logged two of his squad’s four sacks, while he and his
mates allowed two touchdowns in the Packers’ four red zone trips.
The battle’s combined 60 points flew ‘over’ the ‘total’ of
47. Vikings placekicker Ryan Longwell hit 2-of-2 field goals, reaching
from 46 and 52 yards out.
Back the ‘over’ in Carolina
Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET). The early
weather forecast at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte calls for a high of 62
degrees, with calm winds.
For the first of this week's NFL picks I am backing the ‘over,’ agreeing with the early
‘steam.’ The ‘total’ should continue to rise after both clubs’
high-octane affairs last week.
Carolina has had one of the league’s top five offenses, notching
416.1 YPG. Newton’s sizable 288 YPG of passing should hold serve against
a Vikings defense that has given up a sizable 274.9 YPG through the air,
ranking 29th in the league.
Ponder’s first start for the Vikings resulted in a lowly 59.2
passer rating, but the rookie should have an easier time moving the ball
against the Panthers. Carolina has given up 26.1 PPG, while the ‘over’
has cashed at 3-1 in its four home contests.
Peterson should also be lined up for a big day against the
Panthers, who have allowed 133.4 rushing YPG. The Panthers have had no
answers for several of their opposition’s marquee running backs, including
Atlanta’s Michael Turner and Chicago’s Matt Forte, who ran for 139 and 205
yards, respectively, in matchups during the last four weeks.
The ‘over’ has gone 2-1 in Carolina’s three games with a ‘total’
set of 45 or higher, while also going 2-1 in Minnesota’s three contests played
with a ‘total’ of 44 ½ or greater. The sole losing ticket for the ‘over’
in both of these spans failed to cash by one point or less.
for the pair of foes to let it all hang out, with the squads each playing their
last game before a bye week. The ‘over’ cashed in the same spot last year
for both clubs.