Panthers +9 @ San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers started the year out slowly last year winning
just once in their first 4 games, both SU and ATS, and averaging
just 17 pts per game. But from then on they were one of the best
money makers in the NFL with a 10-2 SU and ATS finish, followed by a
3-0 playoff spread run. At home they were almost a sure bet with an
8-1 ATS record overall. They are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games as a
favorite. And going back to 2004, they are 11-1 ATS their last 12
games as a favorite of between 9-11 pts. The Chargers are left
pretty much intact this year, with the losses of RB Michael Turner
and OT Shane Olivea being the most notable exceptions.
The Carolina Panthers had a disappointing season last year, mainly
due to the loss of QB Jake Delhomme to injury. In the 3 games he
started though, the Panthers went 2-1 both SU and ATS, and averaged
25 pts per game. Delhomme should be ready to go this year, and will
be protected by a beefy offensive line that will feature 6'6", 330+
lb, 1st round draft pick RT Jeff Otah out of Pitt U. The receiving
corps welcomes back ex-Panther Muhsin Muhammad to compliment Steve
Smith, as well as newcomer D.J. Hackett who comes over from Seattle.
The Panthers should have a nice one-two punch in the backfield with
returning RB DeAngelo Williams and 1st round draft pick Jonathan
Stewart, out of the University of Oregon. On defense, they will be
looking for DE Julius Peppers to return to form after a down year.
The Panthers were 10 point dogs a couple of times late last year,
but they have never been a 10 point underdog as long as Jake
Delhomme has been the starting QB. And even without him last year,
they still managed to go 6-7 ATS, including 3-3 on the road.
Even with Steve Smith sitting, I still think the +10 points are
likely a good value. I'm halfway expecting the Chargers to come out
of the gate a little slow again this year, considering they don‘t
give Tomlinson any reps during the preseason. Last year he didn’t
get going until around the 4th game. Plus they've got their hated
division rival, the Denver Broncos, on deck for the following week.
I'm going to take Carolina +10 in this spot and expect them to come
out and run the ball, make a few plays and do well enough
defensively to cover the double digit spread.
Carolina is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Carolina is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Carolina's last 13 games
Carolina is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games on the road
Carolina is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games on the road
San Diego is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
San Diego is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
San Diego is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
San Diego is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Diego's last 7 games at home