Is there betting value if we fade the 23-0 Golden State Warriors and the 12-0 Carolina Panthers with our NBA and NFL picks?
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The Golden State Warriors and the Carolina Panthers have a lot in common. Both teams feature a vocal leader that is considered an MVP-favorite in their respective league (Stephen Curry and Cam Newton) and they're both undefeated.
The NBA champion Warriors (23-0 on the season) are 5-0 on their current seven-game road trip, which continues at Boston on Friday and at Milwaukee on Saturday, while the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers (12-0) host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Which team will lose first? Can we find a situation where it's profitable to bet against them with our NBA picks and/or NFL picks? Keep in mind that if we bet against the spread, these teams don't have to lose for us to make some money.
Upcoming Games for the Golden State Warriors
December 11 at Boston
December 12 at Milwaukee
December 16 vs. Phoenix
December 18 vs. Milwaukee
Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson injured his right ankle with less than a minute to play in the Warriors' 131-123 win over the Pacers last night. Thompson torched Indiana with 10 three-pointers (eight in the first half) on his way to a season-high 39 points on 13-for-21 from the field while Stephen Curry added 29 points on 11-for-23 shooting.
Golden State is already without starting small forward Harrison Barnes due to a sprained ankle and will now hope that Thompson does not miss time. Early indications are positive as the X-rays on Thompson were negative and he hopes to play Friday at Boston.
The Warriors just played three games in four nights and they will rest the next two days before finishing their seven-game road trip Friday in Boston and Saturday in Milwaukee. Those games could present challenges without both Thompson and Barnes, so don't bet on Friday's game until Thompson's status is confirmed.
Playing away from home hasn't been an issue for the Warriors, who set a new record for the best road start to a season at 13-0. However; if Thompson misses time, then these next two games could mark the best chance for Golden State to lose until they host Cleveland on Christmas, which means that fading them ATS at Boston and Milwaukee can be profitable if Thompson is out.
Upcoming Games for the Carolina Panthers
December 13 vs. Atlanta
December 20 at New York Giants
December 27 at Atlanta
January 3 vs. Tampa Bay
There's no reason to bet against the Panthers, who will have something to play for in the two games against a Falcons team that has lost five straight and hasn't covered the spread in their last eight games and on the road against the Giants, who lost control of the weak NFC East after three straight losses. If the Arizona Cardinals keep winning and the Panthers lose even once, Carolina will also need to beat the Buccaneers on Week 17 to earn what would be the first No. 1 playoff seed in franchise history.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera won't fully commit to resting his starters if they can finish the regular season 16-0, but he has said that the team's focus is on winning a Super Bowl.
If the 12-0 Panthers can get to 15-0, they will have already clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs ahead of their January 3 home game against the Bucs, and if that happens they could bench key starters like Cam Newton, running back Jonathan Stewart (who has been quite injury-prone over the years and already has a career-high in carries), linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, tight end Greg Olsen and cornerback Josh Norman.
The Buccaneers will still be in the hunt for a playoff spot, making this a must-win game while the Panthers won't jeopardize a Super Bowl run for a 16-0 regular season. The lines for Week 17 will not be released yet, but look for rookie sensation Jameis Winston and Doug Martin to help the Bucs keep the game close or even win straight up, specially if Carolina rests some starters.