Monday, November 10, 2014

Carolina Panthers Vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Market Watch

How much do bettors hate the Panthers?  In last week's look-ahead line, the Eagles were only favored by -3.5. When it reopened after Week 9, it was -6.5. By Friday, it had moved to a full touchdown. In total, 64% of the bets are on the home team for this game.




Bottom Line

No matter which way we look at this game, it sets up as an ugly affair.

Cam Newton has had stretches of good play in the first half of the season, but he ranks near the bottom in statistical efficiency. There isn't any category that their offense excels at, and they are woeful once they get inside the red zone. Will they be able to score enough points against Philly?

The Eagles D is in the top 10 in drive disruption and getting off the field on 3rd down. They are also good against the run this year. They aren't a top 10 unit overall, but they might be a bit better than average - which should be more than enough to give Carolina problems.

Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez gets his first start in green tonight. The good news? He should get pretty good protection from his OL, but the bad news is this offense hasn't done anything particularly well this year. Can Sanchez change that? Can any QB thrive in Chip Kelly's offense?  Was Sanchez being held back in NY, or was he a product of a good defense?

I'm not sure we get any real answers to those questions in this game, but he will have the benefit of playing against a Carolina D that struggles vs the run, on third down, and inside their own 20.

On top of all these advantages, the Eagles are one of the best on special teams and average starting field position this year.

Both teams are 5-4 ATS, but the Eagles are 4-0 straight up at home, and the Panthers only have one road win to their name.

Everything points to a convincing Philly win tonight, but with Mark Sanchez at QB I have no choice but to take a pass.  He brings too much uncertainty to make a confident play on the Eagles just yet.

Read more: Week 11 picks.