The Detroit Lions got me a nice win in week 11, giving me my third straight win. It’s been a nice mini-run lately, as I’m finally nearing .500 with my NFL picks after a brutal 1-5 start to the year.
In my defense, I got hosed early on. The Packers fell to the Vikings due to a broken clavicle to Aaron Rodgers, the Jaguars couldn’t beat the Jets and the Seahawks failed to win in Tennessee.
Those three picks did not go as planned and played a huge hand in my slow start. Things are trending upward, however, as I’m hoping to hit the .500 mark this week. If the Lions can take down the Vikings and the Panthers can cover the spread against the Jets, that will indeed happen.
That brings us to this week’s Sunday pick, where I like Cam Newton and co. to get another win and inevitably cover against a sinking New York squad.
The Jets were an annoying team to wager against earlier this year, but they’ve turned into a pumpkin with a gross 1-4 record over their last five games.
New York is somehow still in the AFC playoff picture but no longer feel like a scary team to bet against. Carolina, meanwhile, has ripped off three straight wins and have to keep pace with the 8-2 New Orleans Saints in the crowded NFC South.
Does that mean you can back the Panthers against the Jets this week? Let’s dive further into this week 12 NFL matchup to find out:
Carolina Panthers (-4.5)
New York Jets (+4.5)
First off, I am completely fine with the Panthers as a straight up bet. The best Money Line I’ve seen is -205 at Intertops and that’s pretty darn good value for what I feel is one of the safest straight up picks in week 12.
I like the idea of squeezing a little more value out of this matchup, however, and if you do some lines shopping, you’ll quickly discover that TopBet.eu is one of the best spots thanks to the -4.5 line (-110) they’re providing.
Pretty much every other NFL betting site comes in with the Panthers at -5, so you’re getting a little value here. That means the Panthers are a winning bet if they beat the Jets by five, instead of six points.
That extra point could be necessary, simply because New York has been fairly competitive in 2017 and the Panthers are on the road for this game.
New York is certainly a team that has been problematic for ATS picks, as they’ve gone 5-3-1 against the spread as an underdog and are an impressive 5-0 against the spread as a home underdog.
That is potentially a problem, but that data could be a tad misleading. New York has beaten the spread in some less than brutal matchups, with a 7-point home loss to the New England Patriots arguably being their only truly impressive ATS home win.
New York hasn’t been in great form recently, of course, and they’ll be running into a Carolina defense that ranks 5th in points allowed per game and 2nd in total yardage allowed per game.
The Jets could be a trendy ATS pick because they’re at home and have gaudy against the spread numbers, but I’m not buying them this week. Instead, I’m milking Carolina’s recent win streak, their elite defense and their plus matchup on paper.
The bottom hasn’t fully fallen out for the Jets offensively, but Josh McCown is going to be awfully tough to trust against the Panthers’ elite pass defense, which ranks 4th against the pass and has also registered 29 sacks (tied for 4th).
It doesn’t get a whole lot better on the ground, as New York battles a Carolina run defense that has given up the second-fewest rushing scores and ranks 3rd in rushing yards allowed per game.
This is a pretty nasty unit and I’d be willing to take the Panthers to cover based solely on their defense. The offense has it’s own upside, however, as this group is no longer forcing passes to Kelvin Benjamin and is leaning more on the ground game.
That has been New York’s Achilles heel in spots this year, as the Jets rank just 23rd at stopping the run despite having some elite talent up front on their defensive line.
I don’t really see the Jets rattling Cam Newton in this one, as they also rank 23rd in sacks. Once the Panthers get going and establish a lead, New York might only assist them in piling on the points.
New York deserves credit for keeping themselves afloat for this long, but this could be a bad week to trust them to hang tight. Even at home, I’m not a fan of the Jets and instead I love the value I can get with the rising Panthers at -110 to cover.
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