NFL Week 6 – TNF – Eagles at Panthers
Tonight’s game is one of the better Thursday Night Football matchups we will likely see all year. Both Philadelphia and Carolina are 4-1 and are top of their respective divisions. The game is projected to be close and has a healthy 45-point total. This should be a good one to get into, both from a fan perspective and for betting action.
Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 (-125) at Carolina Panthers -3.5 (+105) Total: 45
It’s hard not to be impressed with Philly’s start. They began last year on a tear, as well, but faltered late. This year, Carson Wentz has clearly taken a step forward as one of the better young quarterbacks in the game. Wentz threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns last week as the Eagles thrashed the visiting Cardinals by a score of 34-7.
However, they did pick a significant injury. Right tackle Lane Johnson is out this week with a concussion after taking a hit against the Cardinals. The loss of Johnson should not be taken lightly. Wentz’s level of play took a severe hit without him manning the right tackle spot.
Carolina won their first two games, but did it against San Francisco’s weak defense and then ground out an ugly game against the Bills, where they scored just 9 points. After that, they lost to the Saints, but have won their past two games, beating New England and Detroit, both on the road.
Cam Newton’s re-found rushing ability and Christian McCaffrey’s elusiveness has made Carolina a lot more dangerous offensively. Their defense will be tested by Wentz’s and the Philadelphia passing attack, but they should be able to move the ball, even against a tough front, like the Eagles.
Bettors have favored Wentz and the Eagles slightly, but the line has moved the other direction after the Panthers opening at -3. At many sportsbooks, the odds are now at -3.5, such as SportsBetting.ag. Others still have the number at -3. The total has not seen much action since opening at 45 points. Bettors are heavily favoring the over regarding tickets, but it has only moved up slightly to 45.5 at most sportsbooks.
I’m high on the Panthers in this spot. The Eagles have shown that they’re a fearsome defensive unit, but with Cam running again, he’s more adept than other quarterbacks to evade their rush. Their secondary, also, just simply isn’t very good.
However, the main reason I am looking to go with Carolina is the loss of Lane Johnson for Philly. Wentz and the entire offense took a massive hit with him out last season. He’s most valuable in pass protection, but the Eagles run game will, which wasn’t great with him in the lineup, will also suffer.