They both came out victorious in Week 6, but only one of the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers can go into our NFL picks for Week 7. Carolina is the early choice.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 20: 21-15 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 14-23 Total
Week 6 was a difficult time for the betting public – and for quite a few sharps. The Carolina Panthers helped make it happen by engineering a pair of long fourth-quarter TD drives to beat the Seattle Seahawks 27-23 as 7-point road dogs. Our archive shows some big bets coming in late on the Panthers in that contest, but Seattle was still the preferred sharp choice in that matchup.
Maybe now the Panthers (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) will get a little respect after beating someone other than the dregs of the NFL. According to our early consensus reports, Carolina is drawing 68-percent support as a 3-point home chalk for Sunday night's matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) with the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3 SU and ATS), who are coming off an interesting 27-7 win over the New York Giants (+3.5 away). There's also a 46.5-point total on the Week 7 NFL odds board, with 94 percent of bettors pounding the UNDER at press time.
Nolan in the Deep
We say “interesting” for the Eagles because they didn't exactly distinguish themselves on Monday Night Football. Sam Bradford threw three picks in that game and committed a fumble, although Philly recovered that one. The Eagles defense made amends by forcing three takeaways of its own, including a pick-six by CB Nolan Carroll.
There were some positives on offense, though, including another solid game from RB DeMarco Murray, who rambled for 109 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. And on special teams, PK Caleb Sturgis had another perfect performance for Philadelphia with a pair of figgies and three extra points. If all these other aspects of the game are working for the Eagles, they can absorb some of Bradford's miscues – note that all three of his picks were on deep throws.
That might not cut it against Carolina's defense, though. The Panthers bent against Seattle, but they didn't break, holding the Seahawks to 334 total yards of offense and sacking Russell Wilson four times. The temptation will be there to pin the blame on Seattle for coughing up yet another fourth-quarter lead, but that might only enhance Carolina's betting value for our Week 7 NFL picks.
That's if we choose Carolina, of course. The Panthers weren't getting much love against Seattle despite coming off the bye week; beating the likes of Jacksonville and Tampa Bay as 3-point road faves didn't impress bettors much, sharp or square. Now the Cats have a win over the two-time and defending NFC champs. They'll also probably be getting back DE Jared Allen (pinched nerve) for Sunday's game after he had to sit out Week 6. Bradford could end up getting very familiar with the Carolina turf when all is said and done.