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Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/14/14

Detroit Lions (1-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-0)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Bank of America Stadium)

The Line: Carolina Panthers -3 -- Over/Under: 43.5 See the Latest Odds


The Detroit Lions head to Carolina on Sunday to face off against the Carolina Panthers.  

The Carolina Panthers earned a solid win in week one, defeating the Tampa Bay Bucs 20-14.  The Panthers finished the day at roughly +3 to the Bucs, as the line jumped once the news that Cam Newton would not play.  At the time of writing, “Riverboat” Ron Rivera expects Cam to play on Sunday, and it will be interesting to see how well he plays, considering he is likely still ailing from his rib injury, and Newton didn’t play much this preseason.  In his stead this past week was Derek Anderson, who was impressive against the Bucs, throwing two scores and keeping the ball out of the hands of the Bucs secondary.  Williams was solid on the ground, gaining more than five yards per carry against the Bucs, and rookie wideout Kelvin Benjamin is looking more and more like the real deal.  This Panthers team is focused around defense, and the defense was stout against the Bucs, forcing three turnovers and keeping the Bucs ground game in check.   

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Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/14/14


The Detroit Lions looked solid in their week one victory over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football, defeating the Giants 35-14.  This one never really was close.  The Lions jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, and even though the Giants closed the gap to 14-7 by the half, it was clear that the Lions were the better team, and despite completely falling apart, the Lions would be in control throughout.  Matt Stafford was excellent on the night, throwing for more than 340 yard and two scores, both to Megatron (Calvin Johnson).  Joique Bell saw the majority of the work out of the backfield, but struggled at times, averaging just over three yards per attempt.  Reggie Bush was used as a scat back in this one, hauling in 6 receptions for 49 yards.  The Lions did an outstanding job containing the ground game of the Giants, but if Newton plays on Sunday (I’m expecting to see him) the Lions will have an entirely different challenge ahead of them.   

In the past three seasons, the Detroit Lions are 3-6 against the spread as an underdog, and in their last 16 games, the Lions are 6-10 against the spread on the road.  Also, when playing on short rest, the Lions are just 6-16 against the spread in the past three seasons.  The Panthers are 2-0 against the spread in their last two games against the NFC North.

The Lions offense looked impressive against the Giants, but this Panthers defense isn’t the Giants.  With the Panthers I’m getting the much better defense, the better ground game and getting at team at home, against a road team off of a short week.  I don’t love the Newton angle as I am a bit concerned about him being rusty here, but I’ll take my chances with the Panthers who were just one game away from the NFC Championship last season.  That being the case, if you can find it, -2.5 would be ideal as I could see this one landing on 3 easily.

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