Free Pick: Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers
Seattle Seahawks (5-5 SU, 5-3-2 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS)
NFL Football Week 12
Date and Time: Sunday, November 25th, 1:00pm EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC
By Bob Clark, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SEA+3.5/CAR -3.5 (5dimes Sportsbook)
Over/Under Total: 47.5
POWER RATINGS – WEEK 12: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -1
TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 11:
First off, the Carolina Panthers look human again. This team has been a roller coaster for the past five years or so. Some weeks and hell, some months, they look unstoppable, then they just lay an egg and fall apart. It is always hard to gague which Carolina team will show up and much of the reason for that is you never know which Cam Newton will show up at quarterback. This past week the Panthers lost 20-19 to the Lions. To be honest, Newton played well in this one. He threw three touchdown passes but a missed PAT and a bone headed coaching decision kept Carolina from getting the W. With just about a minute to play, Carolina scored a touchdown and a made PAT would have tied the game at 20 potentially sending it to overtime….well… head coach Ron Rivera decided that after a missed field goal and a missed PAT by Graham Gano that he would go for two and the win rather than try and settle for a 20-20 score. The Lions stopped the two point conversion and that ended the game. Carolina is still in the drivers seat for a wild card berth but things just got much tighter for them. As for the Seattle Seahawks, we all knew they were beginning to have a bit of a decline. The Legion of Boom is pretty much gone and they still have offensive line issues from time to time that makes life on Russell Wilson tougher than it has to be. Seattle is also still very alive in the NFC Playoff race but games like this could be huge when it is all said and done from a tie breaker standpoint. Seattle is a team that can hang with anyone in the NFL but they are also the team that could lose to anyone on any given day…this weekend they need to solidify an identity and get a win to stay ahead of the pack of a wild card berth.
HOW THE PUBLIC IS BETTING SEATTLE AND CAROLINA:
Carolina opened as a 3.5 point home favorite and so far as of mid day on Tuesday, that line remains in most books. Some places have it as an even three points which I have a feeling will be the spread across the board come kickoff on Sunday afternoon. 63% of the betting public so far likes the Seahawks on the road to cover the points and wiin or at least keep it very close. Against the spread on the season, Seattle sits at 5-3-2 while the Carolina Panthers are 5-5..
The two teams do not play yearly but the crazy thing is that the most recent match-ups they had were two meetings in 2016 and two meetings in 2015. Both years, the second game took place in the NFC Playoffs. In 2016, the Seattle Seahawks dominated the Panthers 40-7 and back in 2015, Carolina won the Divisional Playoff game 31-24. In their last ten meetings, the Seahawks hold a 7-3 record. This dates back to January of 2006 (another playoff meeting).
Carolina Panthers: Donte Jackson left last week’s game with a lower body injury and is listed as Day to Day. Sources say he should be ready to go come Sunday’s game. As for the other injuries with the Panthers, there is nothing new and no major players will be out against Seattle.
Seattle Seahawks: No major starters are missing for Seattle and there is no injury news that will have any extreme impact on this Sunday’s game.
WHEN SEATTLE HAS THE BALL:
Just like every week, the Seattle Seahawks will attempt to allow their run game to dictate the tempo and success of their offense. Through the entire 2018 season so far, the Seahawks are averaging 154 yards a game on the ground and just under 200 a game passing. Running the read option with Russell Wilson is a huge part of this teams offense and that will not stop come Sunday. Although a read option is not the same as your standard “run game,” Seattle will need to work hard since the Carolina Panthers have a top ten run defense. So far in 2018, the Panthers are allowing just under 100 yards a game on the ground but their passing defense is not even in the top 15 giving up over 250 a game. Seattle cannot be one dimensional and they need to somehow find a way to make the Panthers respect the run in order to open up the play action for Russell Wilson and company. This game will be a challenge for the Seahawks from an offensive standpoint, but if they can get things going they could get an easy…very easy win on Sunday.
WHEN CAROLINA HAS THE BALL:
The Carolina offense just like their team is a roller coaster ride. Statistically, they are a very balanced offense averaging 250 yards a game passing and another 130 a game on the ground. It just seems like they can never just get it all together. Well this weekend they need to figure it out. They are favored at home but I think this Seattle team is much more dangerous than most think. The Seahawks are ranked in the top half of the NFL in both passing defense and rushing defense but this Carolina offense, just like their own, can cause issues that most teams do not. With a talent like Cam Newton and another playmaker like Christian McCaffrey, defenses find themselves sometimes trying to figure out how to defend it. I think Carolina in this situation comes out and tries to get the run game going. Seattle is not the defense they once were and their defensive front has not been what it once was. Both of these offenses will attempt the same type game plan the only question is which defense will rise to the occasion?.
Forget trends this go round. I really do not care about history. The Carolina Panthers are bi-polar as they come and I got a feeling they will not be able to recover from the heartbreaking loss they had against the Lions. Seattle will come in and win this game with ease. I like the Seahawks to win this game 24-20 on Sunday.
The weather in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday is calling for 64% chance of showers with temperatures from a high of 58 to a low of 42. This could affect the passing game but both teams are very run heavy so I do not see the weather making either team change their plans coming in.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the Seattle Seahawks plus the points on the road.