Two solid teams will square off in the early slate of Week 8 NFL action as the 4-3 Baltimore Ravens head south to Carolina to do battle with the Panthers. Both teams enter this matchup with four wins apiece, and both squads realize the importance of securing victories as both are in the thick of playoff races.
The Ravens have been a solid team so far this season, though have to enter this week with a sour taste in their mouths after letting last week slip away when they hosted New Orleans. The Ravens’ offense is improved, and their defense has been established as one of the NFL’s best. Baltimore remains a legitimate playoff threat, despite just a 4-3 record.
For the Panthers, they were on the other side of a remarkable comeback victory last week in Philadelphia. Cam Newton turned in an excellent 4th quarter outing, and in the NFC South, they’re likely just behind the powerful New Orleans Saints in terms of ability. An opportunity exists for Carolina this season, and you can bet they’ll want to keep adding to their win tally as they host the Ravens.
Read on below the posted odds for a full matchup analysis and betting prediction for this crucial Week 8 battle between the Ravens and Panthers.
Ravens vs. Panthers Betting Odds:
Baltimore Ravens -2.5 (-122)
@ Carolina Panthers +2.5 (+102)
Over 44 (-109)
Under 44 (-101)
Ravens vs. Panthers Pick:
After a heroic outing last week in Philly, look for Cam Newton to snap back to reality quite quickly in Week 8 vs. the Ravens. Baltimore’s defense is elite, and they generate a ton of pressure. Combine that fact with the Panthers’ non-existent blocking ability, and I think the Ravens can really get after Newton and force him into some turnovers and mistakes. Terrell Suggs is definitely getting up there in age, but he’s still a force on blitzes and he has the pace to keep up with the Panthers’ QB.
Downfield, look for Newton not to have many options either. Moving the chains could prove problematic given how stingy the Ravens’ secondary truly is. He isn’t blessed with many talented receivers, but his primary focus of running back Christian McCaffrey will really need to earn his yardage this week as it is believed that C.J. Mosley will match up against the former Stanford product. Mosley is solid in coverage and should be able to put the clamps on McCaffrey’s speed and elusiveness.
Conversely, Baltimore’s offense should be able to exploit the weakened secondary of the Panthers. The Eagles destroyed them in Week 7 and even though Joe Flacco isn’t quite as good, he’s been fortunate to have some new weapons in 2018 that have really enhanced the Ravens’ aerial attack. The trio of Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead will all pose significant matchup challenges for Carolina, and look for some deep connections to be the norm on Sunday.
Making matters worse for the Panthers as they prep for the tough Ravens is the fact that Cam Newton seems to be banged up yet again. He often plays through injuries, but the rumors are that he’s currently dealing with a tough shoulder injury, and is definitely not 100 percent. Against a tough defense with no mercy, that will prove problematic. The Ravens are one of the better teams in the NFL right now, yet aren’t being priced like it at all. Expect Baltimore to take care of business on the road, and win convincingly as small favorites on Sunday.
PICK = Ravens -2.5 (-122)