By: Jason Green
Carolina Panthers (4-2 SU 3-3 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (2-4 SU 4-2 ATS)
The Panthers had their two-Game winning streak snapped in their last Game and they have had a lot of time to get over it since they lost last Thursday night. They are still atop the NFC South, but only because the 3-2 Saints and Falcons have had a bye. Cam Newton has been up and down on the season and Carolina while led by their defense, which ranks tied for 9th in points allowed did give up 28 points in their last Game.
At 5 dimes sportsbook the Panthers are 3-point favorites with a total of 40.5.
The Bears had lost two in a row before beating the Baltimore Ravens in OT in their last Game. Mitchell Trubisky got his first win as a pro and will have his hands full facing a solid and athletic Carolina defense. Chicago has had issues on both sides of the ball, but there is hope with Trubisky and the rushing attack ranks 3rd in the league averaging 136 rushing yards per Game.
The Panthers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six Games facing the Bears and 4-1 ATS in their last five Games facing them in the Windy City.
The Panthers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 28-23 in their last Game where they only had five fewer overall yards, but had three turnovers while the Eagles only had one. Newton passed for 239 yards with a TD, but ACCounted for all of the turnovers with three picks iNCluding a late one that was costly. Newton did it all in the Game, as he was the team’s leading rusher with 71 yards while no other player had more than eight. Jonathan Stewart did not play in the Philly Game and he is questionable for this Game.
Chicago ranks 16th in the league defending the run and 14th defending the pass, but only rank 25th giving up an average of 24.7 ppg.
In their last Game the Bears beat the Ravens 27-24 in OT where their defense came up big in the clutch keeping Baltimore scoreless in the 4th quarter and made some key stops in OT. Chicago forced three turnovers in the Game and out-GAined the Ravens 342 yards to 291 yards. Trubisky was only 8 of 16 for 113 yards, but he had a TD and did not get picked off. Jordan Howard was the big star in the Game rushing for 167 yards and he ranks 5th in the league in rushing yards.
Howard will see a lot of action in this Game with a rookie QB under center and he has a tall task facing a Carolina run defense that ranks 7th in the league.
The Panthers 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road Games, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Games following a straight up loss, and in their last 4 Games they have an Over record of 4-0.
The Bears are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home Games, 9-4 ATS in their last 13 Games overall, and in their last 10 home Games they have an Under record of 7-3.
Jason’s Pick: So, the Panthers have covered in their last five road Games and the Bears have covered in seven of their last eight home Games. Think I will take the Panthers trend to continue. Newton will play decent, but the differeNCe maker in this Game will be the Carolina defense, as they will keep Howard from having a big Game on the ground. The Panthers will win this Game and cover the spread remaining in first place in the NFC South.