Philadelphia Eagles (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date/Time: Sunday, October 25, 8:30pm
Where: Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, NC
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PHI +3.5 / CAR -3.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
This weeks Sunday night prime time game on NBC is going to be a great one. The Philadelphia Eagles will be traveling south to Charlotte to take on the undefeated Carolina Panthers. The Eagles enter at 3-3 and what appeared to be a disastrous season is now on the brink of being saved. Carolina has a slim lead over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South division and a win at home would put them even more so in the drivers seat to take home the division title and at worst, one home game in the NFC playoffs. I predict this will be a physical game that will come down to the very end.
The line on this game opens with Carolina as a 3.5 point home favorite over Philly. The total points are set at 46.5 combined. Currently, 62% of the action is on the Panthers to cover at home, while 58% likes the game to soar over the 46.5 total points. So far this season the Eagles are 3-3 against the spread just like their overall record. The Panthers, at 5-0 overall, are 4-1 against the spread. Not only is this a very important game for the landscape of the NFC, but this could be a potential playoff match-up come January.
Injuries should not play too big of a part in this game. The Eagles will be without wide receiver, Nelson Agholor, and linebackers Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks. Carolina is almost at full strength with the only question mark being that of wide out Jerricho Cotchery who is now listed as probably for the contest. In other words, no excuses in this one.
The Eagles have been a roller coaster ever since mini camp. What was labeled as one of the most dangerous offenses ever came out in the pre season and lived up to that hype. The Eagles put up 36, 40, and 39 points in their first three pre season gamesthen the regular season started. The Eagles went into Atlanta and for most of three quarters were absolutely shut down by the Falcons defense. Many wrote it off as just a tough road game in a hostile environment, and everything was going to be ok. Well, the Eagles went on the following week to lose to Dallas at home by a score of 20-10 in a game that the Eagles had NEGATIVE FOUR yards rushing with under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter. It may have been one of the worst offensive performances that I have seen in awhile in the NFL. Since that 0-2 start though, the Eagles have gone 3-1 and its starting to appear that the offense is getting a little more dangerous week by week. Currently, the Eagles are ranked 14th in passing, 19th in rushing, and 10th in scoring offense. They are improving each week and moving up statistically compared to the rest of the NFL. On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles are actually the 6th best defense in all of the NFL allowing just 18 points per game. If these guys can continue to play like this, they very well could win the wide open NFC Eastbut time will tell. This weekend however, they have a huge task taking on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. The Eagles are going to need to produce on both sides of the ball. If either the offense sputters or the defense allows Cam to make big plays, I can see the Eagles falling below .500 while the Panthers move on to 6-0 on the 2015 season.
Coming into the 2015 season, the NFC South was a joke. Remember, just a year ago, the Falcons and Panthers played in week 17, both with losing records, to determine who would take home the NFC South crown. Carolina dominated Atlanta which led to the firing of coach Mike Smith for the Falcons. Well, now in 2015, things have changed. The NFC South is dangerous. Atlanta has already swept the NFC East division and Carolina sits at 5-0 with a chance to make it 6-0 on Sunday night. It is fairly certain that two of the NFC playoff teams will come from the South division but it will come down to Atlanta and Carolina again as to who gets the home games. Carolina this season has looked solid in all areas. Averaging 132 yards rushing per game, they are 3rd in the NFL along with a scoring offense and scoring defense that both rank in the top seven of the entire league. One thing I will say though is thisthe Panthers havent played anyone. Jacksonville, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Seattle. None of these teams are looking like playoff teams and that includes the Seattle Seahawks who have looked really bad. In my opinion, this will be the first true test that the Panthers have had in 2015. The key to beating the Eagles for the Panthers is the same way other teams have beat Philly: Stop the run. If you shut down the Eagles running game and force Sam Bradford to make plays with his arm, it does not work out well for Philadelphia. Stop the run, cover the spread. If Carolina lets the Eagles get 110-120 on the ground, I can see them being tied with Atlanta at 5-1 in the south.
This is a tough game to predict. I can seriously see this one going either direction. I am going to take the Eagles and for one reason and one reason alonethe hook. I like Carolina to win probably, but the 3.5 to me is a little dangerous. I can see this game coming down to a late field goal and someone winning 27-24 late in the fourth. Take the Eagles plus the points, this will be a good game.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pick the Philadelphia Eagles plus the 3.5 points.
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