NFL Non-Conference Game Of Week 10: Back Panthers Over Chiefs

Carolina Panthers players in action

Friday, November 11, 2016 3:28 PM GMT

It's a matchup of playoff teams from last year when the Chiefs travel to Charlotte to face the defending NFC champion Panthers on Sunday. It's the K.C.'s first game at Carolina in eight years. The Panthers are -3 on NFL odds.

Kansas City Chiefs At Carolina Panthers

It's obvious that teams are more familiar with intra-divisional foes they place twice each season. Due to the nature of the rotational schedule of the NFL, teams also play four clubs from a division in the opposite conference. For example, this year the Chiefs' AFC West drew the Panthers' NFC South. These games can require more travel than usual and extra preparation time because of the unfamiliarity with the opponent. 

As part of the weekly handicapper’s conundrum, we are faced with momentum vs. letdown or bounce-back situations. In Chiefs-Panthers, we are looking at a pair of teams who are playing with positive momentum, but I am making distinctly different calls on the way they will take the field Sunday.

Rather quietly, the Chiefs are on another winning streak. Did you know that in the last 20 games, KC is 17-3 SU on NFL picks?  Last week, however, should not have been a Chiefs victory. Against a bad Jacksonville team, KC was outgained 449-231 and outrushed 205-62.  Four turnovers by the Jags were the big reason for Kansas City's 19-14 win. Chiefs backup QB Nick Foles filled in admirably for a concussed Alex Smith, who will play Sunday. Despite Kansas City's 6-2 record, it is being outgained 369-342 and outrushed 125.4 to 101.4 per game. The strong road record of Chiefs coach Andy Reid precedes him. But so do those losing statistical numbers, which means the winning record is about to even out.  

It starts today with a reborn Carolina team, which got backdoored last week for a point spread push on NFL odds in the Panthers' 13-10 victory at the Los Angeles Rams. Not that they deserved better, as they were outgained 339-244 by the Rams. Two wins in a row following a 1-5 start has saved the season for Carolina, which finished 17-2 last year after being upset in the Super Bowl. 

Two reasons for the turnaround of late? The Panthers have recorded 12 total sacks the past two and reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton hasn't thrown a pick. I'm eager to ride the momentum of Cats at this value price, knowing they are 12-2 in their past 14 at home field and 15-6 ATS in their past 21 as home chalk.

In the final analysis, the Chiefs, following their phony victory last week and negative YTD statistics, will be in letdown mode Sunday, while Panthers will continue their resurgence.

NFL Free Pick: Carolina -3

Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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