Bears to Cover on Road vs. Panthers for Week 5 NFL Picks

Steven Suarez

Thursday, October 2, 2014 6:20 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 6:20 PM GMT

Is it time to start panicking if you're a Panthers fan? They've gotten blown out of the water in consecutive weeks. Now they take on the Bears at home, and the NFL odds suggest we should be in for a close one. Which NFL picks are we adding to the slate?

The Panthers really need a pick-me-up. They've been an utter disaster over the last couple of weeks.

Heading into Week 5, however, oddsmakers have listed Carolina as a short favorite, with most sites having a line of 2.5 or 3 points. The total is at 46 points for now, but there's a lot of time left for the NFL odds to shift.

Carolina Panthers in 2014-15 Regular Season: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, -5.8 margin of victory

Chicago Bears in 2014-15 Regular Season2-2, SU, 2-2 ATS, -2.0 margin of victory

One week after losing by 18 at home to Pittsburgh, the Panthers were once again trounced in Week 4, this time on the road in Baltimore. Carolina lost 38-10 and obviously didn't even come close to sniffing an ATS cover in the horrible all-around showing against the Ravens.

Cam Newton was 14-of-25 for 197 yards and a touchdown and finished with a solid 74.7 QBR, but the Carolina was no match for Baltimore. DeAngelo Williams was struggling to get anything going before having to leave with an injury, and even Jerrico Cotchery and Kelvin Benjamin's combined 156 yards and a touchdown weren't nearly enough.

Why's that? Well, the Panthers were absolutely atrocious defensively. They let Joe Flacco impose his will, and they were embarassed by old teammate Steve Smith Sr., who went off for 139 yards and two touchdowns for Baltimore. Carolina allowed 454 total yards in the blowout loss in what was their worst defensive display of the young season.

It won't get much easier this week against a potent Bears offense that features studs like Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The Panthers are going to have their hands full again, but at least they'll have the benefit of being back at home.

Chicago was also walloped last week, only the Bears were at home against a division rival, making it that much worse.

Up against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, Chicago was humiliated in front of their own fans, losing 38-17 at Soldier Field. At the end of the day, you could see why Green Bay was favored in the NFL odds despite being away from home. It was dominance from start to finish.

QB Jay Cutler had 256 passing yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, Matt Forte topped 100 rushing yards with ease and added 49 receiving yards, and Martellus Bennett went off for 134 yards on nine catches. However, Marshall and Jeffrey only had 58 yards between them despite each reaching the end zone.

Then there's that defense. Or should we say lack thereof? What a horrible day for Chicago's defensive unit, which looked on helplessly as Rodgers did whatever he wanted in the passing game. Will the Bears fare better against Newton this weekend?

 

Suarez Says:
The Panthers were awful last week, and we question whether they're worthy of being favored this weekend.

Carolina's defense is way better than what they showed in Week 4, and they have to show more energy or they risk getting murdered by Cutler and his plethora of intimidating targets. Slowing down Forte, Marshall, Jeffrey and Bennett is no easy task, but it can be done.

That being said, we think Chicago is the better offensive team at this juncture, and that should carry them to the win as underdogs. We trust Cutler and all of those weapons more than the banged up Panthers offense at this point in time. Back the Bears to cash in with your Week 5 NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Bears +2.5 at 5Dimes

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