Carolina Panthers (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 6th 2016 at 4:05 EST
Where:Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, CA
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CAR -3 / LA +3
Over/Under Total: 44.5
Sunday afternoon, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will travel to the west coast to take on the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC match-up. The Panthers come into this game with an extremely disappointing record of 2-5 while the Rams are 3-4 and just a win away from getting back to .500 on the season. Both teams are in need of a win. A loss by the Panthers could all but solidify the fact that last years NFC Champ will not return to the post season in 2016.
The line has the Panthers as a three point road favorite over the Rams and the total points are set at 44.5 combined. As of Tuesday night, 61% of the action was on the Panthers to get the road win and cover while the total points are just about even with 53% of the action on the over. Both teams ATS record matches their season win loss records. Carolina is 2-5 against the spread while the Rams are 3-4.
Cam Newton has been the talk of the NFL the last few days after he began calling out NFL referees for their lack of late hit calls on him. I am in no way a Carolina Panthers fan, but I actually agree with Cam on this. I saw him take some hits that if Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers took there would be a 15 yard flag without question. Anyhow, with that being said, lets talk about football, not the refs. Carolina has flat out stunk this season but this past week they appeared to put it all together and got a good win over the Arizona Cardinals. Was that the win Carolina needed to get back on track? Could be. Statistically, the Panthers should be much better than 2-5. They rank 9th in passing offense, 5th in rushing offense, and are putting up over 27 points a game. How in the world are they in last place in the NFC South? Here is how. The defense. Last season on their way to the NFC Title, Carolina boasted one of the best defenses in the entire NFL. This year, not so much. Carolina is giving up 28 points a game and there are only four teams in the NFL who are giving up more. The Panthers need a miracle run down the stretch to have any dream of winning the division or making a wildcard but that miracle must start on the defensive side of the ball. Sunday could be just what the Panthers need to get back on track in facing an offense like the Rams.
The Rams are 3-4 but their offense is putrid. The only bright star is running back Todd Gurley and things are not so easy for him seeing as how defenses are keying in on him due to the lack of quarterback play. Los Angeles is ranked 25th in the NFL in passing (227 yards per game), 29th in rushing (79.9 yards per game), and the offense is only scoring 17 a contest. The offense in LA needs some major work. However, the defense for the Rams is not too bad. They rank in the upper half of the NFL in scoring defense and they have looked pretty good in some big situations. This Sunday, the main key is for the Rams to slow down Cam Newton and company. If they allow the Panthers to score at will, it could be a very long day in the coliseum. The Rams need to make this a short game and control the clock as well as the tempo. If LA can keep this game in the teens or low 20s then I think they have a shot not only to cover the three points they have been given, but they could actually win this game outright.
This is a very tricky game to handicap in my opinion. Carolina on paper is the much better team but the game is not played on paper, it is played on the field. I could see this game going a number of ways. I would not be shocked to see Carolina come into town and put a 38-13 beatdown on the Rams but I could also see a situation where the Rams keep this game close and ugly and pull off a 20-14 win. Due to the public being on Carolina and due to the Panthers just really not being very impressive this year, I am going to take the home dog in this one. Something about this line just makes me think trap bet. I could be wrong, but I think that line is a tad sketchy and I am going to ride with the Rams plus the points in this one.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Take the Los Angeles Rams plus three points as well as UNDER the posted total of 44.5 points.
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