It was a great start to the week for us as on Thursday night we finally had a close game, and the New York Jets covered as a result. The Jets aren’t as bad as many perceive and know with a legitimate offensive threat like Percy Harvin in the fold, they could be a ‘bet-on’ team down the stretch for the second half of the season. Now we turn to the Sunday of Week 7 where a ton of key games are taking place. It’s never too early to begin plotting the route to the post-season, and the match-up at Lambeau Field definitely holds playoff implications for two ambitious sides – the Panthers and the Packers. Carolina is fresh off a heroic outing in Cincinnati last week where they fought back to tie a solid Bengals squad. That tie may have rejuvenated their season, and it’ll be interesting to see how they come out and play today as a result. Meanwhile, the Packers had to scratch and claw to get awin in Miami. It wasn’t easy, but Aaron Rodgers is one of the best, and simply willed his sub-par team to victory. Week 7is a new week and we’ve got you covered again here at The Sports Geek for this key NFC showdown. Read on below for further game analysis and our official prediction.
Panthers vs. Packers Betting Odds:
Carolina Panthers +7 (-115)
@ Green Bay Packers -7 (-105)
Over 50 (-110)
Under 50 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Panthers vs. Packers Pick:
For the first time this year, it finally looked like Cam Newton was completely healthy against the Bengals. And that’s definitely bad news for the Packers, and for the rest of the league. Newton was running with purpose and power in Week 6, and that does not bode well for a Green Bay team that really struggles at defending the run. It’s hard to envision the Packers stopping anything that Newton throws at them. The Dolphins offense looked like world beaters last week – netting an average of 6.4 yards per play. Again, the Packers aren’t a great team, they’ve just got a couple of key difference makers that help them win games. Green Bay struggles to defend mobile quarterbacks, and without cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Sam Shields (both injured), the Packers are going to have major issues dealing with Newton’s arm and legs on Sunday. Add in the fact that key wideout Kelvin Benjamin is supposed to be healthy and feature in this game, and the Packers may be reeling defensively in this one.The Packers are 4-2 this season despite being outgained in terms of yardage. Again, mainly because they’ve got future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers under centre. At some point this season, someone else will need to step up and contribute to a Green Bay victory.
On the other side, the Carolina Panthers have a good defence,they just haven’t shown it recently. Despite their recent tip, it remains a talented group filled with good pieces. While the Packers prolific attack will certainly test them, this game will come down to getting key stops when it matters most. And given that situation, I’ll trust the Panthers a lot more than I’ll trust the Packers. The best hope for Carolina is to turn in another solid performance defending the run. Last week they were stellar against the Bengals, holding them to an average of just 2.7yards per carry outside of a lengthy Giovanni Bernard touchdown. They should be able to do the same to the plodding Eddie Lacy, and try to just focus on the arm of Aaron Rodgers. Expect Carolina to be able to shut down the Green Bay run game with Luke Keuchly at the helm, and then just focus on the passing of the Packers.
This should be a high scoring game. Both defenses aren’t playing up to their potential and both offenses enter red-hot. That said, the 7-point spread seems very high for this contest, especially when you consider the Panthers defense is still a lot more competent than Green Bay’s. Newton and Benjamin should prove to be an unstoppable duo on Sunday, and getting Jonathan Stewart back in at running back should help move the chains as well. In Week 2, the Jets visited Lambeau and were the same7-point underdogs the Panthers are. That makes little sense as Carolina is a far superior team to New York. Green Bay hasn’t been playing all that well of late, and they’re just 1-6 ATS in their past 7 at home. Roll with the Panthers +7 in this one and don’t be afraid to sprinkle a bit on Carolina straight-up.
PICK = Panthers +7 (-115)