Panthers Bears Betting – Defense Powers Bears Past Newton, Panther
Online betting players can look at the defensive rankings and see that Chicago is struggling, but you also have to consider their opponents over the first three weeks (Atlanta, New Orleans, Green Bay). Carolina’s offense has also been good, but they still have a rookie quarterback who is prone to mistakes and the Bears will force a few (led by a former Panther) when they host the Panthers on Sunday.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, October 2nd, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Pick: Chicago Bears
Why Bet On Carolina Panthers (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Cam Newton was 18-of-34 for 158 yards and a touchdown, but he didn’t throw a pick and his 16-yard pass to Greg Olsen was the game-winning score in a 16-10 win at home over Jacksonville. Newton wasn’t as dynamic as his first two games, but scaling it back also netted him his first NFL win. The Panthers’ running game still isn’t where it needs to be as they ran for 107 yards, but it took some of the pressure off Newton, who had 27 yards on the ground. The defense was aided by Jacksonville switching over to their rookie pivot, Blaine Gabbert, and they picked up a pair of sacks while forcing a turnover. They’re getting by without their leader, linebacker Jon Beason, who is likely out for the season (and possibly his career because of an Achilles injury), and James Anderson is doing his best Beason impression as he leads the Panthers in tackles.
Steve Smith had a poor game, catching only two balls for 15 yards, but Carolina fans and NFL betting players shouldn’t take that too hard as the field was in awful condition thanks to a rainstorm that pelted the field. The Panthers also allowed Maurice Jones-Drew to run for 122 yards despite being able to load up the line against him with Gabbert under center, but Jones-Drew is one of the best backs in the league and is used to running against a stacked front seven (or eight). The Panthers may be the best “bad” team in the NFL, and they can be exposed when playing against good teams.
Why Bet On Chicago Bears (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
The Bears shot themselves in the foot in a 27-17 loss at home to Green Bay in their 183rd meeting with their rival, committing 10 penalties for 70 yards, along with a couple of picks from Jay Cutler, who was also 21-of-37 for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Cutler was sacked three times as the Packers pressured him, and the Bears simply aren’t going to improve until they can protect him. They also had no semblance of a running game as the Bears gained 13 yards on the ground, including two yards on nine carries for Matt Forte, which puts pressure on the passing game. Defensively, the Bears tried to stay in the game, but they were on the field for over 37 minutes and that is far too much against an offense like Green Bay.
That said, Chicago’s best players came on the defensive side of the ball as Lance Briggs had 14 tackles on the day, while end Julius Peppers had one of the Bears’ two sacks. Peppers should be highly motivated as he was born in North Carolina, went to college at Chapel Hill and spent the first seven years of his career in Carolina; in last season’s 23-6 win in Carolina, Peppers had four tackles and a pick. Newton can expect to see a lot of Peppers when the Panthers head to the Windy City on Sunday.
How It Will Play Out
NFL betting odds should favor the Bears at home, where they are 1-1 SU and ATS in their last two meetings with the Panthers with one game falling under the posted total. Overall, Carolina is 3-2 SU and 2-2-1 ATS in their last five games against the Bears with three games going under the posted total, and this game isn’t shaping up to be a shootout as both defenses are strong.
The Bears will be out to prove that their defense is better than their 25th-place ranking, and they’ll be the key to an important victory over the Panthers. Chicago has to find a way to stop Carolina end Charles Johnson, who has a sack in each of Carolina’s first three games, because Cutler needs to time to find his targets. The Panthers have had issues with stopping the run, so this could be the game where Forte gets back on track. Wager on the Chicago Bears in your sports betting book this week.
Panthers Bears Betting Pick: Chicago Bears