NFL Free Pick
The Baltimore Ravens will host the Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon in a Game that kicks off at 1pm est. Both teams are 2-1 with the Ravens losing in week 1 to the Bengals and the Panthers losing last week in an embarrassing 37-19 loss to the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. In this spot, the Ravens are favored by -3.5 with a total of 40.5 at sportsbook.ag
As a handicapper you make early season assumptions on teams and then make adjustments as each week goes by. From that perspective, this is a Game I am eagerly anticipating. My early season take on the Ravens was that they would be a 9 win team this year, slighty better than a year ago. My take on the Panthers was that their defense would oNCe again be the talk of the league and could take them as far as they wanted to go this year.
Well, this Game will go a long way towards my current take on these squads. Certainly after last week, the Ravens look to be the better team and that week one loss to the Bengals is now looking like less of a big deal considering how well Cinci is playing early on.
As far as the Panthers, I guess I didn’t see that dismal effort against the Steelers coming. Here you had a Panther team looking like their defense was a force to be reckoned with the first two weeks of the season, hosting a Steelers team that hadn’t scored a touchdown in what, 6 quarters? A Steelers team that quite frankly has had offensive problems for some time now. Well, the Steelers outrushed the Panthers 264 to 42 and you simply can’t win football Games at any level if you can’t stop the run and run the ball yourselves.
The fact that the Ravens beat the Steelers 26-6 and pose a similar rushing threat even without Ray Rice makes this week a scary proposition for a Panthers team looking to bouNCe back. The feeling here is that we do in fact see a complete turnaround from the Panthers defense though. Last week they managed to hold the Steelers to all field goals in the 1st half so signs of that “D” still were still there.
We still need another week before Our NFL prediction model has enough data to be trusted. This week we ran the model twice. ONCe using a combination of last years and this years data and oNCe using this years only, which is only 3 Games. The results were Carolina 19 Ravens 17 using the combo and Ravens 24 Panthers 12 using this year only. One common denominator in the two predictions is that both have this Game going under the current posted total of 40.5. So, that’s the way we’ll go with this Game. Panthers/Ravens UNDER 40.5