It is challenging to determine whether the current betting line (NE -3.5 @ -110) accounts for Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold possibly not suiting up on Sunday. The spot is neither here nor there for the Panthers who just managed to end a four-game losing streak by beating Atlanta 19-13 in Week 8.
Carolina has a chance to string two victories together but with a matchup against a Bill Belichick-led defense and plenty of uncertainty about who’s going to be under center, the Panthers may see this one get out of hand early. Let’s check out the Carolina Panthers vs New England Patriots betting picks that we have below.
New England Patriots vs Carolina Panthers Match Prediction
Let’s take a glance at what we know for the two teams so far.
New England Patriots Recent Form
The New England Patriots are coming off two wins with the last one being a statement victory. The heavily favored Los Angeles Chargers fell at home to Mac Jones and his Patriots, allowing the New England team to move to an even 4-4 record and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The New England Patriots’ odds to win that game outright were +205 and to cover the spread +5.5 @ -110. Interestingly enough, many bettors wagered on the money line and won. Belichick improved his record against the Chargers to 11-3.
On paper, the Patriots defense is middle of the pack in most categories and in the top 10 in others. All of that provides a good backbone to Mac Jones and his not-so-explosive passing game. The Patriots allow 352.9 yards per game (12th) and 20.5 points per game (8th). Nothing suggests that the team will slow down against the Panthers – a team that has a worse offense than the Chargers.
On offense, the Patriots rely mainly on the running game in key situations. However, the passing yards per game for the team are 253.4, giving them the 13th spot in the rankings. In rushing yards per game, New England is 22nd at 101.2.
Last week, however, the Patriots gained 142 yards on the ground and passed for only 217. We may see those tendencies flip this week because Carolina’s Front 7 is a tough matchup for any running game in the league.
The Latest Performances by the Carolina Panthers
We already mentioned the strong Front 7 that the Panthers have, evidenced in part by the 106.8 yards per game they allow on the ground. This is a notable improvement from the Patriots’ prior opponent, as the Chargers allow 159.8 yards per game on the ground.
The big question mark for the Panthers is their quarterback, Sam Darnold. The USC product was limited in Thursday’s practice with a concussion that he got in the game against Atlanta on Sunday. If Darnold can’t go, then it will be P.J. Walker under center again. In this case, we would anticipate a line move by sportsbooks and also an odds adjustment.
The Carolina Panthers current odds to win the game outright are +155. While this is not outside of the realm of possibility, having Darnold take snaps on Sunday will significantly improve their chances of winning.
We couldn’t see a lot from Walker last week as he attempted just one pass and it fell incomplete. Still, we expect to see a drop-off if he is the starter.
A bright spot for the Panthers, however, is the fact that star running back Christian McCaffrey should return for the game. Expect a big workload for him especially if the Panthers play with a backup quarterback.
Top Panthers vs Patriots Betting Picks
Here are the top bets in this New England Patriots vs Carolina Panthers betting picks article.
Spread Betting: New England Patriots odds -3.5 @ -100
Having said all that we mentioned above, we expect the Patriots to win and cover the spread. Even if Darnold plays, he may be tentative and will surely be conservative if he has to run with the ball – something he wasn’t during the first eight weeks of the season.
We also understand that Bill Belichick will have a good defensive game plan versus the young quarterback especially after meeting him more than once in the AFC East when Darnold was part of the New York Jets.
In this game, we expect the Patriots scoring to again come on the ground rather than through the air. The Panthers are the second-best team in the league versus the pass at 189.9 yards allowed per game. It has to be pointed out, however, that they haven’t faced many top-ranked quarterbacks yet this season. That, coupled with the fact that Darnold may not play at all, makes it difficult to like the Carolina Panthers’ odds in this game.
Our Pick on the Total: Over 41.0 @ -110
The New England Patriots’ last four games all went over the total and it doesn’t look like the team will slow down. The team averages 26 points per game which significantly boosts the possibility of the game going over the total.
Carolina games have mostly gone under the total this season but again, the quarterbacks that they have faced are Zach Wilson, Jameis Winston, Davis Mills, Dak Prescott, Jalen Hurts, Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones, and Matt Ryan.
We think the Patriots will score their usual 25-30 points and Carolina will score just enough to push the total over 41, especially with McCaffrey likely back. Bet the over in this one.
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