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Patriots, Panthers Lock Horns In A Sexy Monday Night Fight

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/4/2014 5:06:38 AM

The New England Patriots are widely known and recognized as one of the premier franchises in the NFL and all of professional sports. The Carolina Panthers want to be where New England is.

New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers – Monday, November 18

Betting line: Panthers -1

Why New England Will Win

This is a fascinating online sports betting setup, in that this is a game in which the Patriots – who are having a very strong season – are somehow an underdog. How can New England, with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady – possibly be an underdog to the Carolina Panthers, a team that was 1-3 last month and has beaten only one really good team (the San Francisco 49ers) en route to a five-game winning streak? The coaching matchup in this game is lopsided. Belichick should outflank Carolina’s Ron Rivera. The quarterback matchup isn’t lopsided, but Brady has so much more experience than Carolina’s Cam Newton. The Panthers did beat San Francisco this past weekend, but their offense scored just 10 points. Belichick should be able to find ways to limit Carolina’s scoring output in this game. As for the matchup on the other side of the coin, Brady’s ability to release the ball quickly and find the hot read should prove to be damaging for the Panthers’ pass rush. The defensive line is the foremost strength of the Panthers’ roster, so if Brady can neutralize that advantage for Carolina, the Patriots should be able to claim a pronounced tactical advantage on Monday night in Charlotte.

One should also note that the Patriots are coming off a bye week. They have had plenty of time in which to size up the Panthers and dissect all of their weaknesses. Giving Belichick and Brady two full weeks of preparation seems to be a recipe for success on the part of New England, not Carolina. The Patriots should not be a heavy favorite here, but they should be favored. At any rate, they’ll win.

Why Carolina Will Win

The Panthers are going to be so pumped up for this game, and that’s a key reason why they’re favored by a point. The Panthers have been an underachieving franchise over the past four seasons. They’ve been dragging through the motions at times, and when they were 1-3 earlier in the season, it seemed that Rivera was on the verge of being canned as the head coach. However, this five-game winning streak, especially the win over defending NFC champion San Francisco this past Sunday, has electrified Charlotte and will create a raucous atmosphere for this game. The energy Carolina will bring to the stadium in this game could create a supremely strong performance along the defensive line. With pure strength and energy, Carolina could overwhelm New England’s offensive line. If the Panthers can do that, they will have a great chance to win as the favorite.

Who Will Win

For a bettor, this is a tricky game. Carolina will have a genuine home-field advantage in this game, since its crowd will be very noisy and charged up. Yet, New England should be able to use a bye week to its advantage, finding holes in the Panthers over the course of 60 minutes.

NFL Betting Pick: Patriots +1

Get the latest inside skinny on the NFL’s week 11 lines at the best betting site on the web.



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