Thursday's Best Bet
October 11, 2017
By Heritage Sports
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NFL Week 6 TNF Best Bet (CBS, 8:25 p.m. ET)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers
A pair of 4-1 SU teams meet on TNF this week as the surging Philadelphia Eagles take their three-game winning streak on the road to Carolina.
Both teams have looked rather impressive in recent weeks – specifically the resurgence of Cam Newton and the Panthers offense, but this is that dreaded short-week game and with both sides believing they've got a solid shot of going all the way this year after their respective starts, that extra time off after the game is that much sweeter off a win.
HeritageSports.eu Odds: Carolina (-3); Total set at 45.5
Philadelphia enters this week off a dominating 34-7 win over Arizona a week ago to make it three in a row in the standings (2-1 ATS). The Eagles jumped all over the Cardinals early in that game and never really looked back.
Aside from getting the W, Philly fans have to be pleased with how their defense played as it was the first real game outside of forcing numerous turnovers in Week 1 that the Eagles defense locked things down. There was no real let up late in the game despite the big lead, and if Philadelphia wants to win the NFC East and make a deep playoff run, they'll need that defense to keep up with what the offense is doing.
Philly has scored at least 20 points in all five games so far and four of the five saw 26+ scored.
Cam Newton and the Panthers offense have put up 27+ in their last two games – both wins – after everyone was talking about how Newton wasn't anywhere near the same guy that won the MVP after some below average play to begin the year.
But Carolina has seemingly found something on offense these days (albeit against the likes of New England and Detroit's defenses), and Newton himself looks a lot healthier then he did at the beginning of the year. Seeing how he and the rest of the Panthers offense comes out against this Eagles team that's filled with confidence right now will definitely be interesting.
So, given those respective offense vs defense matchups and the fact that both teams have relatively lit up the scoreboard recently, at first glance this total of 45.5 seems a little low. Simply combining their average points per game this year gives you a number of 48.4 (27.4 for Philly, 21 for Carolina), and the majority of bettors – 80%+ according to VegasInsider.com's betting percentage numbers – have already taken a stance on the 'over.'
The side money is basically split down the middle, but with the total being so heavily weighed to one side, I believe that's where we find our edge this week.
There is no denying that both offenses have been playing well, but the Eagles commitment to defense for the entire 60 minutes last week didn't go unnoticed over here. Philly might have been 3-1 SU prior to that, but they were scraping by with 3 point wins over the likes of the Giants and Chargers because their defense was playing a soft prevent defense late in games.
In those two wins over LA and New York, the Eagles were outscored 38-21 in the 4th quarters and that's not going to get it done against the better teams in this league. So last week, with the game very much in hand by halftime, Philly's defense made a conscious decision to not play soft the rest of the way and they ended up shutting out the Cardinals in the final two quarters.
It's that type of play that will enable them to pile up the victories a little easier when everything goes according to plan, and I expect the same kind of defensive intensity this week. They've poured over two weeks of solid film by Carolina's offense having success, so even with it being a short week I expect them to be ready.
Carolina had a similar problem last week when they entered the 4th up 27-10, played soft, and nearly coughed up the game. After shutting out Detroit in the 3rd frame, the Lions put up two TD's on the Panthers in the final 15 minutes to make it a game. That is not the type of defense a Ron Rivera coached team prides itself on, especially since the Panthers defense was lights out the first two weeks of the year.
This will be the fourth straight week against a team that prefers to attack through the air, and while the points allowed numbers aren't the prettiest – 34, 30, 24, - the Panthers have improved in that regard each week. Being at home where they are 1-4-1 O/U in their last six games should help Carolina's defense even more this week, as they'll also look to control the ball with their running game and keep Carson Wentz and that Eagles attack on the sideline for as long as possible.
With everyone jumping on their initial reaction of this total being too low for these two teams that have scored plenty of late, we've got to remember that this number is that low for a reason.
TNF games aren't always the shootouts many expect them to be when two scoring units square off against one another – look at last week's New England/Tampa game – and with the Eagles on a 2-5 O/U run after winning by 14+, 3-8-1 O/U after allowing 15 or less, and Carolina 3-8 O/U after gaining 350+ yards, going against the grain and taking the low side of this total is the better betting option.
Odds per - HeritageSports.eu
Best Bet: Under 45.5
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