Are the Carolina Panthers for real, or is their 3-1 record fools gold?
They started the year by winning three in a row and have put up some of the best defensive numbers in the NFL. Playing against a decent Eagles team, who was just in a shootout with Patrick Mahomes, we should evaluate if the Panthers are as good as their record suggests. BetMGM’s NFL odds show the Panthers as 3.5 point favorites at Bank of America Stadium.
Can the Panthers bounce back from a loss in Dallas and cover the spread, or will the Eagles pull off the upset?
Keep reading to find out how I think Sunday’s matchup plays out.
Sam Darnold Might Be Cam Newton 2.0
In case you didn’t already hear, Sam Darnold leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns (5) through four weeks. So maybe calling him Cam 2.0 is a little premature, but there’s no doubt Darnold can find the end zone on his feet as well as anybody.
The rest of the offense is following Darnold’s lead, as they’ve been able to put up 24.2 points per game this year, including 28 points last week vs. a solid Dallas defense. Star receiver D.J. Moore had 113 yards and two touchdowns in that game.
With Christian McCaffrey expected to miss this game, the Panthers might need to focus on their pass game. The good news for Carolina is that they’re top ten in the league (#9) in yards per pass at 7.7.
Panthers’ Defensive Success Is Misleading
It’s true that the Carolina defense is third in both points allowed and yards allowed this season.
The Panthers also rank #1 in the NFL in 3rd down defense (opponents only convert 23.81% of the time).
What teams were these defensive stats recorded against, though? Apart from Dallas, Carolina has only played teams that are .500 or below a month into the season.
The first time the Panthers faced real competition was last week vs. the Cowboys. In that game, Carolina gave up 433 total yards and 36 points.
Eagles Are Better Than They Look
Philadelphia only holds a 1-3 record this season, with their one win coming against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Eagles aren’t as bad as their record might seem, though. They were just in a barn burner game with the Chiefs in a game that was close until the 4th quarter.
Jalen Hurts has led this offense to a whopping 397.5 yards per game, ranking eighth in the NFL. The Eagles also rank #10 in red-zone scoring, converting almost 70% of the time.
If Philadelphia can get their defense in check, I think they can turn their season around.
Carolina Panthers vs. Philadelphia Eagles Betting Pick
I think the Panthers might have their hands full on Sunday. However, the Eagles can quickly put points on the board, even if their past games don’t reflect that. I believe that if they can better utilize Miles Sanders’ talents, this offense could be deadly.
I expect the Panthers to put up a lot of points this week, too, especially against the weak Philly defense.
In my opinion, this Carolina defense has benefited from playing weak offenses, and that’s baked into this spread.
I believe this game should be closer to a pick ’em and that Philly will come out on top.
Do You Think Carolina Will Cover?
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