Panthers to Bounce Back vs. Bears for Week 5 NFL Picks

Swinging Johnson

Monday, September 29, 2014 2:27 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 29, 2014 2:27 PM UTC

The Bears travel to Charlotte after taking a beating last week while the Panthers hope to rebound from an equally poor performance but which team bounces back to cash in our NFL picks on Sunday?

Chicago Bears (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Chicago was initially installed as one-point favorite over Green Bay last week but by the time the game kicked, it was obvious that the public and the sharps were getting down early and often on the visiting Packers as the roles reversed and Green Bay settled at -2 in NFL odds. It was a prescient signal that all was not well for the Bears as Aaron Rodgers scorched the Chicago secondary for four touchdowns while the Packers defense pitched a shutout in the second half en route to a dominating 38-17 victory.

Chicago’s offense was matching the Packers in the first half until Jay Cutler threw a pair of picks which essentially shifted the score and the momentum to the visitors. The Bears defensive front was getting little pressure on Rodgers which allowed him time to pick apart a confounded Chicago secondary. On the plus side for the Bears, Matt Forte broke the 100 rushing yard barrier for the first time this season with 122 yards on 23 carries while Martellus Bennett caught nine passes for a career-high 134 yards. But it was a lack of defensive pressure and two ill-timed Jay Cutler interceptions that proved to be fatal for the Bears in Week 4.



Carolina Panthers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS)
The Panthers broke my heart and cost me three units as one of my NFL picks last week. The visiting Cats traveled to Raven country and opened as two-point underdogs in NFL odds but when the dust settled and the game kicked, Baltimore was bet up to a field goal favorite and it was clear that the steam was on the hometown Ravens. As in the Green Bay/Chicago game, this line move proved to be an accurate indication of just where this game was headed as Baltimore trounced Cam Newton and Company to the tune of 38-10.

Carolina started the season with a pair of victories and covers in NFL odds over the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Detroit Lions. However they stumbled in Week 3 at home against the Steelers in a 37-19 loss then tried to redeem themselves on the road against another AFC North opponent last week but failed even more miserably as evidenced by the 28-point margin of defeat. Of course their former All-Pro receiver Steve Smith, cut loose in the offseason after spending 13 seasons in Carolina, made the game seem downright personal when he torched the Panthers for 139 yards receiving and a pair of trips into the endzone. But that wasn’t the only reason the Cats got beaten up. Cam Newton was under duress all day and the Carolina defense made Joe Flacco look like a Hall-of-Famer. It was a bad day all around for a Panthers team that is lucky to be tied for first in the NFC South.



Free NFL Pick
This would not be the game I would be betting the rent money on if I needed the infamous lock of the week. Both teams have serious potential and should be in the playoff mix which is why their recent performances are at the same time shocking and perplexing. Here are a few stats to consider:

The Bears are 7-18 ATS in NFL odds when playing on six days or less rest over the past three seasons.

The Panthers are 15-11 ATS in NFL odds when playing on six days or less rest over the past three seasons.

The Bears are 1-5 ATS in NFL odds in a road game where the total is between 45.5 and 49 points over the past three seasons.

The Panthers are 5-3 ATS in NFL odds in a home game where the total is between 45.5 and 49 points.

I believe the Panthers will bounce back with a strong performance by Cam Newton against a Chicago defense that ranks 20th in both passing and rushing defense. But caveat emptor, Jay Cutler can either unravel or unload. We believe the Cats will make him unravel.

NFL Picks: Panthers -2 ½ at

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