Carolina Panthers (3-2-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-2 SU, 3-2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date and Time: October 19 - 1pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field
by Evergreen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:CAR +7/GB -7
Over/Under Total: 49
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Quarterbacks make the matchups in the NFL and we get a good one this week as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers travel to Green Bay to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Both teams are dealing with mounting injuries and this one could come down to who can plug the holes the best. Carolina is first in the NFC South with Green Bay tied for the best record with Detroit in the North so someone will have to earn it this week.
The point spread information on this game is oddly consistent with Vegas and the online betting sites agreeing that Green Bay is a seven point favorite. The over/under is most commonly 49 with a few 48.5s out there as well. The Panthers are 10-3 against the spread in their last 13 games against the NFC and they look to take advantage of Green Bays recent struggles at Lambeau. The Packers are just 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight home games.
Carolina is fresh off a 37-37 tie against Cincinnati and while their defense allowed 35 or more points for the third time in six games, Cam had his best game of the year. Newton threw for 284 yards and two scores, adding 107 rushing yards and another trip to the endzone. The Panthers are in a bad way with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams out of action but they get to run against the Packers 32nd ranked rush defense this week. Newton will probably lead the team in rushing again but Darrin Reaves or Fozzy Whitaker should find better success than they have had and that will only open up the pass game.
Green Bay is riding high after three straight wins, most recently dropping the Dolphins 27-24 on a near last second touchdown. The Superbook at the Westgate was as quiet as a funeral home until the Packers scored late, so you can guess what the book thought of Rodgers heroics. A-Rod has been very efficient so far, throwing for 15 touchdowns against just one interception but the Packers are just 20th in passing yards per game and 26th in total yards. Carolina gives up 26.2 points per game and is soft on run defense so look for an uptick from Eddie Lacy and James Starks out of the Packers backfield.
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The biggest x-factor in this game might just be the depth of the Packers defense. Demetri Goodson, Datone Jones, Sam Barrington, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams are all listed as questionable for Sunday. Shields and Williams are probably the most important but there will be a lot of places to attack for Carolina and they will stress out the secondary with throws to Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen. That duo has accounted for 754 receiving yards and caught all but one of the teams 10 touchdowns through the air. Olsen is in line for another big day as Green Bay routinely gives up big plays between the numbers to tight ends and Benjamin could be covered by second stringers if all the Packers remain sidelined.
Despite averaging just 236 passing yards per game, Rodgers and his receivers look like can score from anywhere at any time. Jordy Nelson leads the team with 43 catches and 632 yards while Randall Cobb leads all receivers with seven touchdowns. Davante Adams has stepped up to be a reliable third option for the Pack and has earned Rodgers trust over the last few weeks. Carolina is outside the top-20 in yards and points allowed so dont expect anything less than average from the Green Bay offense.
First off, I think the over is a very good play in this one. No real defense to speak of on either side and plenty of playmakers to go around. I think Carolina is the pick with the points as Green Bay simply has too many injuries on defense to hold down Newton. I think the Panthers are good for 26 or so and that puts Green Bay on the hook for at least 34 to cover. Thats too many for me. The Packers do get the straight up win and send the Lambeau faithful home happy but the Panthers get the ATS win this week. Green Bay 30 Carolina 27
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Carolina