Kent Tukeli | Thu 12/10/2017 - 14:35 EDT

NFL Thursday Night Predictions

NFL Thursday Night Predictions

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers NFL Picks

The Panthers and the Eagles have been enjoying a revival this year, rocketing to the top of the NFC South and NFC East divisions. Improved pivot play from Cam Newton and Carson Wentz lead the offensive rejuvenation of both clubs, which had difficulty converting in the red zone last season.

Keen observers will note that the biggest transformation of either team involves Carolina’s defense. The Panthers have progressed from a bottom ten defense to top ten this year, a trend which will prove crucial this evening.

My Team's Next MatchCarolina Panthers

Watching Cam Newton progress towards his form in 2015 has been entertaining for football fans, but the Panthers defensive unit has been the crucial change Carolina needed for a return to success. The Panthers D restricted the Lions and Patriots sufficiently for Cam to do his thing on field.

A three point spread signals a close matchup, one in which Carolina has the advantage playing on their home field. Bet on the Panthers winning by a bit more than a field goal. Thursday night has been tough on NFL defenses - bet over on a total of 46, especially with Newton and Wentz playing well.

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Philardelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers Preview

Philadelphia’s on track to become the top contender out of the NFC East, two wins ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, who were the divisional favorites to start the 2017 schedule. Some of the credit belongs to Carson Wentz, who’s only had one bad game this year - against the NFL leading Kansas City Chiefs. In three games since the Chiefs defeat, Carson has thrown six TDs and a single interception, earning a solid 105.4 QB rating, as per NFL reference. Last week, he threw 304 yards, four TDs and an INT at a 70% completion rate.

The Eagles picked up LeGarrette Blount from the Super Bowl champion Patriots during the offseason, a move questioned by some observers. He’s put those questions to rest, averaging 5.8 yards a carry, good for an contribution of 64.6 yards per game. As their main back, Blount has turned into a possession monster, eating up valuable minutes while opening space for Eagles receivers. It’s not a coincidence that Wentz has done well with Blount in the backfield.

Carolina has a fantastic front seven on defense, which will challenge the Eagles on Thursday. Philadelphia starting tackle Lane Johnson will miss the game with a head injury, increasing the difficulty for the Eagles offensive line. Consequently, Wentz and Blount will have a bit less protection against the pass rush and rush defense of the Panthers. These two stars will need to play even better to maintain productivity.

Cam Newton has adjusted to Greg Olsen’s injury well since losing to the Saints, diversifying his intended targets. Devin Funchess has become Cam’s new favorite receiver, catching a team-high three TDs. Rookie Christian McCaffrey plays a dual back/receiver role well, becoming another one of Cam’s favorites. Newton’s got his swagger back, and Carolina’s offense may continue to improve if he learns to integrate the new weapons at his disposal. 

Expect a playoff-style atmosphere as both teams attempt to prove their worthiness as top dog of the NFC.

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NFL Thursday Night Football Schedule

Thursday night has been tough for spread betting favorites. The Packers have been the only team to beat the spread on Thursday, while outright moneyline favorites have been 3-2 thus far.

Other than a defensive slog in week two between the Texans and the Bengals, teams have score at a prodigious rate on Thursdays. The best example would be the L.A. Rams and the San Francisco 49ers scoring a total of 80 points during week three, after a predicted total of 39.5. 

Date Matchups Picks
Sep. 7 Chiefs at  Patriots  Patriots (-9.5, -550, Over 48.5)
Sep. 14 Texans  at Bengals Cincinnati (-6.5, -255, Under 38)
Sep. 21 Rams at  49ers Rams -3 (-110), -145, Under 39.5 (-105)
Sep. 28 Bears at Packers Packers -7.5 (-105), -370, Over 44.5 (-105)
Oct. 5 Patriots at Buccaneers Patriots -6 (-115), -250, Over 55 (-110)
Oct. 12 Eagles at Panthers Panthers -3 (-110), -150, Over 46 (-105)
Oct. 19 Chiefs at  Raiders - -
Oct. 26 Dolphins at Ravens - -
Oct. 29 Vikings at Browns - -
Nov. 2 Bills at Jets - -
Nov. 9 Seahawks at Cardinals - -
Nov. 16 Titans at Steelers - -
Nov. 30 Redskins at Cowboys - -
Dec. 7 Saints at Falcons - -
Dec. 14 Broncos at Colts - -
Dec. 16 Bears at Lions - -
Dec. 16 Chargers at Chiefs - -
Dec. 23 Colts at Ravens - -
Dec. 25 Steelers at Texans - -

Category : NFL

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