Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Football Team Pick

by | Dec 21, 2020 | nfl

Carolina Panthers (4-10 SU, 8-6 ATS) vs. Washington Football Team (6-8 SU, 8-5-1 ATS)

NFL Football Week 16

Date/Time: Sunday December 27th, 2020. 1:00PM (EST)

Where: FedEx Field Landover, MD

TV:CBS

Point Spread:CAR +2/WAS -2 (BetNow - 100% REAL CASH bonus up to $1000!)

Over/Under Total: TBA

At 6-8 SU, Washington is just one win away from clinching the NFC East. It seems unfathomable that a team could make the playoffs below the .500 mark but welcome to the mighty NFC East, where the entire division has been in complete shambles throughout the 2020 campaign. Washington was riding a four-game winning streak before that success was halted with a 20-15 loss to the Seahawks in week 15. Despite the setback, Washington needs just one victory over the final two weeks to secure the division. However, these next two games are anything but given outcomes with an emerging Eagles team behind Jalen Hurts waiting next week along with a gritty Panthers team that is hungry for a win this Sunday.

At face value, the Panthers have struggled to produce victories. Star RB Christian McCaffrey has been riddled with injuries this season, which has definitely caused an impact on the offensive side of the ball. Let’s not forget that this 2020 campaign was expected to be a rebuilding campaign under Head Coach Matt Rhule in his 1st season. With that being said, the Panthers have dropped 8 of their last nine games. Perhaps more disappointing is the way the losses have occurred. The Panthers have been within one score of their opponents in 7 out of 8 of those losses. Despite lacking a lot of premier talent, the Panthers have competed extremely well and perhaps are overdue for a victory, which likely explains the reason they are just two-point underdogs for this week’s match-up against Washington.

QB Alex Smith expected to play in week 16

QB Alex Smith is undoubtedly the NFL’s comeback player of the year. Once fearing that he may never walk again, Smith was 4-1 SU as the starter for Washington and helped secure the four-game winning streak that put the team in the driver seat of the NFC East. However, Smith was held out of last week’s contest against Seattle due to a calf injury. In Smith’s absence, the team turned back to QB Dwayne Haskins who hit 38 of 55 passing for 295 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. While Haskins did not look bad throwing the football especially compared to Smith, the turnovers proved to be costly for Washington. Washington does not have a high-scoring style offense meaning they must be efficient with their opportunities and protect the football. Therefore, Alex Smith will return to the starting spot on Sunday if he is available, and all early reports are trending in the right direction for Smith to return.

It is also worth mentioning that starting running back Antonio Gibson has a chance to return this week as well. Gibson has missed the last two games due to a toe injury. However, he started participating in team drills last week. Head Coach Ron Rivera stated he was “hopeful” Gibson would be available this Sunday, and it would be based around the running back’s progress throughout the week. Before the injury, Gibson had previously racked up six touchdowns in 3 games and was emerging as the team’s go-to guy with the football. Therefore if he can return to the line-up, it will be a boost for the Washington offense.

More Picks: Eagles vs. Cowboys Week 16 Pick >>>

Carolina vs. Washington Betting Analysis

If you are wondering about Christian McCaffrey’s status for week 16, it appears to still be in doubt as of the time of this writing. Unless McCaffrey makes significant ground this week, I don’t expect him to return for week 16. Even if he does, I’m not changing my opinion on this game. From a match-up standpoint, this is a tough one for Carolina. The Panthers’ offense has relied on the arm of QB Teddy Bridgewater in recent weeks with the decline of rushing output behind backup Mike Davis. With that being said, Bridgewater has failed to throw a touchdown pass since week 13 against Minnesota. It’s not that necessarily Bridgewater has played poorly; because he is still an above-average passer. However, I’m just not convinced in the output, especially going against Washington’s defense that ranks 3rd in the league against the pass.

Keep in mind, this is a difficult game to predict because both offenses struggle to put the ball in the endzone. With that being said, it will only take a couple of big plays to swing this outcome. I’m just not convinced the Panthers have that ability with their current personnel. If Smith and Gibson return this week, I would be even more confident in this bet. Even if both guys are out, I still feel like Washington has the edge on both sides of the ball. TE Logan Thomas emerged in a big way last week with 13 catches for 101 yards, and WR Terry McLaurin remains one of the most underrated receivers in the league. Washington has the tools to attack this Carolina defense, and I think they will get the job done as long as they protect the football.

Carolina vs. Washington Betting Trends

  • The Panthers are 8-4 ATS in the last 12 games
  • The Panthers have hit the “over” in four of the last six games
  • The Panthers are 1-8 SU in the last nine games
  • The Panthers are 4-2 ATS in the previous six meetings against Washington
  • Washington is 5-0 ATS in the last five games
  • Washington has hit the “under” in four of the previous five games
  • Washington has also hit the “under” in four of the previous five games at home

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Washington -2. Bet the game live at the sportsbook with the best in-game wagering platform on the planet, where you also get a 50% bonus up to $250 and that offers rebates on ALL your bets; win, lose or draw! —> Bovada Sportsbook!

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