The storylines are endless ahead of this week’s showdown in Carolina as the Ron Rivera-led Washington Football Team head to Charlotte to take on his former employer, led by a familiar face of their own: Cam Newton. They’ll have to do so without the help of Pro Bowl defensive end Chase Young who is now out for the year with a knee injury.
Let’s take a closer look at where the value lies ahead of kickoff.
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- Opening Line: Panthers -3, O/U 43.5
- Current Line: Panthers -3.5, O/U 43
- Last meeting: December 27, 2020, Panthers 20, Washington 13
Coming into this week #2 in total yards allowed (281), #1 in passing yards allowed (173.7), and #6 in points allowed (19.3), the Panthers are a QB away from really making a run not just this season but beyond. Enter Superman stage left.
In his triumphant, seemingly “middle of the night” return, former Panther’s league-MVP Cam Newton returned to the team coming in late for the struggling PJ Walker to throw for one touchdown and run for another as they blew out the NFC-leading Cardinals on the road in Arizona.
Newton and company’s opponent this week, the Washington Football Team, will have to find success post-Young, and do so while not allowing a letdown following their own massive win last week. In one of the most surprising results of the seasons, the Football Team led the reigning Super Bowl champion Bucs wire-to-wire, pulling off a 10-point win as 10-point underdogs.
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- Under is 4-0 in Washington’s L4 as an underdog
- Under 5-o in Panther’s L5 as a favorite
- Underdog 8-3 in L11 meetings
Since opening at -3, this line quickly jumped in favor of the Panthers, as it became increasingly clear Newton would get the start this week. With a spot in the playoffs still very much in reach for the Panthers, I expect Newton to be the spark they are looking for if RB Christian McCaffrey can stay healthy.
In this one, I like for a heavy dose of the run while Newton learns what is still a new offense, and for the Football Team to find moving the ball against this elite Panther’s front seven more difficult than last week.
Pick: Under 43.5
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