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Panthers Chargers Betting Predictions – Panthers, Chargers Look To Build Off Momentum Of Big Wins

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/12/2012 5:48:08 PM

Neither the Carolina Panthers nor the San Diego Chargers are in position to compete for a playoff spot this season. That didn’t stop either team from getting in the way of a legitimate contender last week and playing spoiler. Cam Newton and the Panthers got in gear against the division rival Atlanta Falcons, handing the NFC South leader just its second loss of the season with a 30-20 win. Meanwhile, the Chargers took care of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road with a 34-24 victory, only barely keeping alive their hopes of finishing .500 for the season. That quest will continue this Sunday when San Diego hosts Carolina in a matchup of two struggling teams that are coming off big wins.

Carolina Panthers @ San Diego Chargers
Sunday December 16, 2012 – 4:05 PM ET
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
NFL Betting Line: San Diego Chargers – 3

The fact that neither of these teams ranks in the top-half of the NFL in total offense is scary when you consider the talent that they have. However, with Cam Newton leading the Panthers in rushing yards and the Chargers lacking the big-play threats they capitalized on in past years, neither team has been as explosive as projected by the betting sites at the beginning of the season.

NFL Betting Preview: Carolina Panthers

Newton has thrown for 3,220 yards and 16 touchdowns in his sophomore season, and while his 640 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground are impressive, nobody expected him to lead a running attack with both DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart lined up with him in the backfield. With neither back really getting going this season the burden on Newton has been even heavier this season, and has been far too much pressure for the young star at times. The Carolina defense has shown progress in recent weeks, limiting the high-powered Falcons’ offense to just 20 points in an impressive divisional win last week.

NFL Betting Preview: San Diego Chargers

The Chargers’ defense also stepped up last week, forcing two turnovers and scoring on one of them, a fumble recovery in the Steelers’ endzone by Quentin Jammer. Winning the turnover battle will be essential for San Diego as the season winds down, and they were great last week as the offense didn’t have a single turnover. Phillip Rivers threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns, and while he averaged just 4.9 yards per completion it was enough to get the job done. Running back Ryan Matthews is still struggling, as he rushed for 65 yards on just 2.6 yards per carry last week and failed to find the endzone for the eighth-straight game.

NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

With both teams coming off notable wins, this online sportsbook contest could come down to which team is able to keep its emotions in check and bounce back focused for another victory. While the Chargers can be dangerous if they don’t turn the ball over, Newton looked excellent in last week’s win and it makes sense to take the points in what should be a close game against an opponent that has struggled with consistency all year.

NFL Betting Pick: Carolina Panthers


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