Carolina Panthers vs. New York Jets – Week 12 NFL

Carolina Panthers (4-6, 4-6 ATS) vs. New York Jets (4-6, 4-6 ATS), NFL Week 12, Giants Stadium, New Jersey, Sunday, Nov. 29th, 1 PM Eastern, Fox
By Z-Man of

Point Spread: Panthers +3/Jets -3
Over/Under: 41 1/2

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A couple of third-place teams, neither of whom can afford another loss if they hope to make the playoffs, hook up in New Jersey when the Carolina Panthers take on the New York Jets Sunday afternoon.

The Jets opened as three-point favorites over Carolina at most online sportsbooks, with a total of 41 , and both those numbers have held steady in early betting action.

New York is also listed at right around -175 on most moneylines, with the Panthers getting +155 as dogs on the road.

Carolina started 0-3 this season, then got to 4-5 and had a chance to get back to .500 with a home game last Thursday night vs. Miami. But the Panthers allowed Ricky Williams to run for 119 yards and two touchdowns and lost 24-17.

So at 4-6, the Panthers are six games behind first-place and undefeated New Orleans in the NFC South. And they trail the Giants, Eagles and Packers by two games for the top two spots in the NFC Wild Card race.

New York, with a new head coach and rookie starting quarterback, won its first three games this season, and looked like it might be this year’s version of the Atlanta Falcons or Baltimore Ravens. But after getting stuffed at New England last Sunday 31-14, the Jets have lost six of their last seven games, and now trail the Patriots by three games in the AFC East.

New York is also two games back of Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Denver in the battle for the two AFC wild-card playoff slots.

The way the two starting quarterbacks in this game have played this season, both teams will want to run the ball more than throw it. Carolina QB Jake Delhomme has completed 57% of his passes this year for 6.6 YPA, with eight TD passes and 14 INTs, for a less-than-stellar 66.0 passing rating.

After another rough outing last weekend, New York QB Mark Sanchez has hit on just 52% of his throws this season, for 6.8 YPA, with 10 TDs, 16 interceptions, and a 61.1 rating.

Four of those INTs came last week at New England, the first of which went the other way for a touchdown.

On the season, the Panthers are outgaining opponents, on average, by 20 YPG, which ranks 15th in the league, and are outrushing foes by 28 YPG, 11th-best in the league.

New York, meanwhile, ranks 12th in total yardage at +35 PG, and second in total rushing at +52 YPG.

Also, Carolina ranks 13th in the league in average time-of-possession at 30:07, while the Jets rank 14th at 30:03.

On the injury front, the Panthers are thin at outside linebacker, where they’ve lost two starters for the season in recent weeks. And DE Julius Peppers saw limited action in last week’s loss to the Dolphins. And their RB tandem of Jonathan Stewart (Achilles) and DeAngelo Williams (knee) are both dealing with injuries of their own.

These two teams last met four season ago, when Carolina beat the Jets 30-3 in Charlotte.

The totals are 5-5 in Panthers games this season, which have averaged 43 points, while the totals are 5-4-1 in Jets games, which have averaged 40 points.

The Sagarin PURE POINTS rankings at rate the Jets at 23.9, the Panthers at 15.9. Factoring in Sagarin’s updated NFL home-field advantage figure of 1.7, and New York is a 9 1/2-point home favorite over Carolina on the Sagarin line.

Z-Man’s Pick: The side is a tough call. I do however think that there’s some value in the UNDER 41.