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Seattle Seahawks (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-3-1 SU, 4-3 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date and Time: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: CBS, DirecTV 709
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Sea. -5/Car. +5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks suddenly find themselves fighting to stay above .500, as the road to defend the NFL title travels to Charlotte and Bank of America Stadium this Sunday for week eight action against the Carolina Panthers.
It was only a few short weeks ago, after the Seahawks defended the crown once again against Peyton Manning and Denver, 26-20, that everyone was ready to engrave the Lombardi with Seattles name on it again. Now, not only did the Seahawks do the unthinkable and lose at home two weeks ago to Dallas, but now they are owners of a two-game losing streak at the hands of the NFC West rival St. Louis Rams last Sunday, 28-26.
Carolina will also enter this weeks action looking for redemption, following a lopsided and slightly embarrassing, 38-17, loss at Green Bay last weekend. The loss at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers was bad, but it is the opposite of how well the Panthers have been playing recently, tying Cincinnati on the road in overtime two weeks ago and beating the Chicago Bears at home for a nice little mini-run prior to the loss.
Despite the Seahawks slide in back-to-back weeks, sportsbooks still have to adjust the point spread accordingly so they opened this upcoming Sundays tilt with Seattle as 4-point road favorites. With early public money fueling it, the line has already moved up to Seattle minus -4.5 at most sportsbooks, with several offshore sportsbooks up to -5 on their boards.
The over/under total opened at 44.5 and has held firm with little to no line movement early in the week.
More was written last week about who wasnt with the Seattle offense, Percy Harvin, than who was on the field last Sunday and thats a problem. Seattle moved the ball (463 yards) against the Rams, but they seem to be entering their annual struggle-to-score phase they seem to fall into every year about this time. Russell Wilson and company should be able to get back on track and put points on the board this week because the once-stiff Carolina defense is currently ranked 27th in the NFL (388 ypg allowed) and is 29th in scoring defense allowing a whopping 28 points per game.
The Seattle defense has proven to be human in recent weeks too, but Cam Newton and the Carolina offense has morphed into a different style this season. Injuries and ineffectiveness at running back has hurt the Panthers running game so much (89.9 ypg 27th) that Newton has been forced to throw to win with up to 46 attempts a game which isnt really his/their game.
Last year Seattle won on the road in Bank of America Stadium, 12-7, in a game that featured two of those fierce defenses. In fact, the 2012 game (a 16-12 Seahawks win in Charlotte) was extremely similar and defensive in nature too. The Seahawks covered in both games (4-1 ATS in last five head-to-head vs. Car.) as 1-point dogs (in 2012) and 3-point road chalk (in 2013) in both instances. It also no surprise that the under has been a solid wager, going 4-0 in the last four games between these two teams played in Carolina (since 2000).
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The public continues to back the defending champs, and while I do think they will win this game, I dont think it will be by as much as the point spread says they will. With it up to +5 and climbing, Id be willing to wait and see if it goes higher, but if I play this game Ill be playing the home dog and taking the points. Take Carolina plus the points.