Packers vs. Panthers NFL Picks: Side With Carolina to Cover ATS & Stay Unbeaten

Kevin Stott

Saturday, November 7, 2015 8:22 PM GMT

Cam Newton and the unbeaten Panthers will be tested this weekend when Aaron Rodgers and the Packers visit them. Which team should we back with our NFL picks?

Trend-wise, the Cheeseheads are 7-2 ATS the L9 here in Charlotte but this were different panthers teams and should the Packers actually be the favorites in this particular situation? Let’s preview this marquee game with and provide all the key information, Odds, Trends and significant Injuries and make a decent NFL pick or two from what we think could happen on Sunday.

 

Odds Overview
Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers [Sunday 18:00] (FOX, Directv 709, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST): QB Cam Newton (18-16-1 ATS at Home) and the still undefeated Carolina Panthers (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon in a massive NFC showdown which will certainly have great significance in the chase for Homefield Advantage in the NFC conference. Currently (Friday morning) the Packers are 2½-point Favorites at almost all sports books Offshore and Online and here in Las Vegas although you can still find some 3’s if you look (MGM Mirage, CG Technology, Sportsbook.ag).

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook NFL Games of the Year opened the Packers up as 4½-point favorites in this showdown while the Advanced Line in this one was (Packers minus) -3. So with all Carolina has done and as vulnerable as Green Bay has looked at times, still the same perception pretty much from linemakers. So maybe that’s where some perceived value lies? The Total here is at 46 or 46½ (The Greek) in most places while the Money Line sees Green Bay as -136 favorites with the host underdog Panthers priced at +123 on the takeback (Pinnacle). The Panthers Team Total Points here is 21½ (Ladbrokes) while the Packers Team Total Points is at 24 (Ladbrokes).

 

Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers come into this game off an extremely humiliating game at Denver against the Broncos in which QB Aaron Rodgers was limited to 77 Passing yards and the Broncos Defense played on of the best games on that side of the ball in years, handing the visitors from America’s Dairyland their first Loss of the season. Green Bay (3-8 ATS in its L11 games in November) looked lost, but then again almost everyone who has faced CB Aqib Talib and the Broncos Defense so far this season has been stymied.

Here Rodgers and the Packers will look to rebound and here is where the addition of former Packers WR James Jones—released by the New York Giants—may pay off for the visitors with Rodgers‘ favorite target Jordy Nelson (ACL tear in Knee) injured and out for the season. So far the 31-year-old Jones has been superb, making 22 Catches so far for 426 yards and 6 TDs (19.4 ypc) and providing a nice compliment to star WR Randall Cobb, WR Davante Adams and TE Richard Rodgers for QB Aaron Rodgers (37-34-3 ATS vs. Non-Division) and the Offense. But Green Bay (4/1 to win Super Bowl, Ladbrokes) and Head Coach Mike McCarthy (95-65-4 ATS) desperately need to get RB Eddie Lacy going and with RT Bryan Bulaga (Knee) back, the Green Bay OL needs to start doing a little better job protecting QB Rodgers and opening up holes for guys like the former University of Alabama star and workhorse Lacy.

On the Injury front for Green Bay, LB Clay Matthews (Leg) is listed as Probable for sunday while Rookie (Stanford) WR Ty Montgomery (Ankle), CB Sam Shields (Shoulder), CB Quinten Rollins (Shoulder) and DT Bruce Gaston (Groin) are all listed as Questionable. S Sean Richardson (Neck), TE Andrew Quarless (Knee), DT Josh Boyd (Ankle), LB Sam Barrington (Ankle), and, of course, WR Nelson (Knee), all sit on the Injured-Reserve.

 

Carolina Panthers
The upstart Carolina Panthers and talented LB Luke Kuechly knocked off talented NFC foes the Seahawks in Seattle, 27-24 in Week 6, then humbled the Philadelphia Eagles and Sam Bradford on Monday Night Football in Week 7 before showing the AFC’s Indianapolis Colts what’s up in Week 8 on Monday Night Football. So an extremely scary Week 6-9 patch of the Seahawks-Eagles-Colts-Packers on the Regular Season schedule? No worries for these Cats and their cat-like QB Cam Newton who are extremely balanced and extremely disciplined and have already proven under Head Coach Ron Rivera (41-31-1 ATS) it can even win an NFL division with a losing record (7-8-1 in 2014). But can Carolina (12/1 to win Super Bowl, bet365) remain undefeated and stay on track to try to snag that oh-so valuable Home-field Advantage in the NFC?

With veterans like Auburn product Newton, TE Greg Olsen and RB James Stewart, most definitely. And players like Corey Brown, Ted Ginn Jr., Jerricho Cotchery and Rookie (Michigan) Devin Funchess have done a nice job filling the void left by Panthers star WR Kelvin Benjamin’s (Knee, Injured-Reserve) in his absence. On the Injury front for Carolina, C Ryan Kalil (Ankle), G Andrew Norwell (Leg), LB Shaq Thompson (Knee), Daryl Williams (Knee), DT Dwan Edwards (Ankle) and Mario Addison (Ankle) are all listed as Questionable here against Green Bay on Sunday while DE Frank Alexander (Achilles) is Out for Season and FB Richie Brockel (Shoulder), DE Arthur Miley (Knee), T Nate Chandler (Knee) and DE Charles Johnson (Hamstring) are all still on the Injured-Reserve List along with Benjamin (Knee).

 

Series Numbers, Recent Relevant Trends and Game Expectations
For having both of their most productive WRs (Nelson and Benjamin) out from Day One, both the Packers (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) and the Panthers (7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS) have done a remarkable job, going a combined 13-1 SU and a very profitable 10-4 ATS (71.4%)—where we keep track the most—so far this season. The last time these two NFC powerhouses met was last season where the Packers rolled to an easy Win at Home at Lambeau Field as 6½-point Home favorites on the NFL odds board, 38-17, while in the last meeting here in Charlotte, Green Bay won 30-23 in 2011 but failed to cover as 10½-point Road chalks.

The Packers are an impressive 5-2 ATS the L7 on the Road here in Carolina (6-2 ATS in their L8 overall and 8-3-1 ATS the L12 versus a team with a Winning Record) and this could end up being a classic game with Green Bay coming in off a Loss and really needing the Win to level up the NFC Home-field race. It won’t come easy Ringo and this baby could go down to the wire. The Underdog is an impressive 8-3-1 ATS the L11 in this series but likely that Underdog was the Panthers most of the time with Green Bay being fairly dominant back—to some degree with QBs Rodgers and Brett Favre—since the NFL and AFL merger days, so that Trend is a reflection more so of Carolina’s success against the Packers, always a very popular betting team with the General Public.

The Packers are 6-2 ATS the L8 overall but 3-8 ATS in their L11 games played in November and as mentioned, really need this game more than Carolina does. The Panthers should win the NFC South with the Falcons already having 2 Losses and it looks like both of these teams will coast to divisional wins in their respective conferences this season. With the Panthers having just 5 Days to prepare for this (TWTFS) after playing Indianapolis on Monday night, Green Bay could find a way to bounce back and get the victory here but expect it to be extremely close and the hosts could definitely triumph here and stay unbeaten. So the best approach and maybe the best value and the safest bet? Because Green Bay is favored in a game which could very well be lined a Pick ‘Em game and because Carolina is at Home and unbeaten, searching the market for a (Panthers plus) 3—or creating one by buying the ½ point on +2½—is the Rx here as likely any breaks or bad calls will end up going the host Panthers way, the Charlotte crowd will be rabid and 3 points are 3 points.

Predicted Final Score: Packers 22 Panthers 20

NFL Picks: Panthers +3 at Bovada

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