Bet Panthers -3 Over Browns for Week 16 NFL Picks

Ross Benjamin

Friday, December 19, 2014 2:01 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 2:01 PM UTC

We’ll examine Sunday’s NFL contest between the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers. Join us in reading our insightful NFL betting preview article on this contest which culminates with a free point-spread winner.

Browns vs. Panthers
The Carolina Panthers will host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday with the opening kickoff slated for 1:00 PM ET. According to the NFL betting odds at 5Dimes, the Panthers are a 3.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 40.5. This was the last NFL line to be posted this week due to the uncertain status of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. He’s now practicing with no limitations and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.


“Johnny Football” looks for Redemption
The Johnny Manziel era officially got underway last Sunday and it turned out to be an absolute disaster. Manziel was a dismal 10-for-18 in the air for just 54-yards, threw 2-interceptions, and was sacked 3-times. Cleveland amassed only 107-yards of total offense, ran a NFL season low of 38 plays, accumulated just 5 first downs, and was routed 30-0 at home by their AFC North division rival the Cincinnati Bengals. The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Browns from playoff contention, and dropped their record to 7-7 on the season. The Browns enter this week on a 3-game losing streak, and went under the total in each of those contests. As a matter of fact, Cleveland has now gone under the total in 9 of their last 10-games overall. The Browns entered this season having lost 21 of their last 23 road games. However they’ve gone a respectable 3-3 in that role during the 2014 NFL campaign.


Still Alive and Well
The Carolina Panthers enter this crucial game on Sunday winners of their last 2, and are a half game behind the New Orleans Saints for the lead in the NFC South despite an unimpressive 5-8-1 season record. They’re coming off a narrow 19-17 home win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, and had to do so with backup quarterback Derek Anderson (25-40, 277-yards) leading their offense. They’ll receive an additional boost with the expected return of starter Cam Newton on Sunday. Newton was sidelined for last week’s contest due to injuries suffered in an automobile accident. Carolina has gone under the total in their previous 4-games at home. The Panthers have seen 21 of their last 27-games go under the total as a home favorite, and that includes 8 of 9 when the number is 41.5 or less.


Final Analysis
These are two teams heading in opposite directions in terms of their current mind sets. The Browns are coming off a demoralizing loss a week ago that dashed any hopes of being in the postseason. They went from a 7-4 team that led the AFC North to the bottom of the division standings in a matter of just 3-weeks. They may also be without 2 key members of their secondary this week. Joe Haden (shoulder) and Justin Gilbert (concussion) are both listed as questionable.

The Panthers looked to be dead in the water at 3-8-1, and had lost 6 in a row heading into their NFC South battle at New Orleans. They proceeded to dismantle the Saints 41-10 and have found a new lease on life. I’m going to have a small lean for one of my NFL picks this week on the team riding the emotional momentum in this contest.

Free NFL Picks: Panthers -3.0 over the Browns at 5Dimes

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