Carolina Panthers (-5) at New York Giants
The Panthers are three wins away from a perfect regular season, and it doesn’t look like the Giants will be able to stop them this week. Cam Newton and the NFL’s top-rated scoring offense should be able to march down the field at will against the Giants’ putrid defense that allows the most YPG in football, even with RB Johnathan Stewart out and TE Greg Olsen at less than 100% due to minor injuries. The Panthers have won eight straight road games, and are 7-1 ATS in that span. Odell Beckham Jr. will have a hard time getting open against Carolina’s defense, which allows the fifth-fewest passing YPG in the league, and the Giants have no other weapons that would pose a threat to the Panthers’ stoppers. As NJ.com pointed out, Panthers’ CB Josh Norman, who will be shadowing Beckham the entire game, has been able to shut down star wideouts all season. Norman allowed just 15 catches on 36 targets to the quartet of DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones in four separate games this season, surrendering no touchdowns and just 182 yards. Eli Manning could have a disastrous game matched up against Carolina’s defense, which has picked the ball off a league-high 21 times this season. The champagne stays on ice for the ’72 Dolphins for at least another week.
The pick: Panthers -5
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Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Cardinals (11-2) have quietly put together a fantastic season, and as long as they stay healthy this time around, they’ll have a shot at redemption in the playoffs. But first, they have to seal the deal by winning the NFC West over Seattle. Carson Palmer and company, which is surprisingly the number-one offensive attack in football by YPG, should be able to carve up Philly’s 27th-ranked defense. Arizona’s defense, ranked 4th by YPG, should feast on the INT-prone Sam Bradford, as they’ve picked off opposing QBs 16 times this season. The Cardinals are also 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games, so the venue shouldn’t pose a problem. This doesn’t project to be a one-possession game, and favorites tend to get overbet in primetime games, so grab Arizona before the spread rises, and consider parlaying them with Carolina.
The pick: Cardinals -3.5
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-3)
Monday night’s game in New Orleans promises to be a shootout, as the Lions’ bring their 28th ranked scoring defense to town to face the league’s most generous defense in the Saints, who allow over 30 PPG to opposing offenses. New Orleans has averaged over 330 YPG passing at home this season, so Drew Brees should have a field day against Detroit’s stoppers. The Lions might be able to hang around for a while against the Saints’ cardboard-cutout defense, but they’re ranked only 22nd in offense this year, and Matt Stafford will be trying to match scores in the raucous Louisiana Superdome. Detroit has fared poorly on the road of late, going 4-11 ATS in their last 15 road contests. This spread seems very fair considering how easily these teams will be able to pile up points.
The pick: Saints -3
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
- New York Jets (-3) at Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills (-1) at Washington Redskins
- Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
- Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)
- Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-14)
- Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at Baltimore Ravens
- Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks (-14.5)
- Green Bay Packers (-3) at Oakland Raiders
- Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (-2)
- Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
- Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) at San Francisco 49ers
- Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts [OFF]
Lines are based on a consensus of major sportsbooks and are subject to change.