Match date: 13 Oct 2017
| Sport: NFL
| Competition: NFL Football
| Stake: 8/10
| Pick: Carolina Panthers -3 AH
| Match result:
23-28 - Lost
In this Thursday Night Football showdown Carolina Panthers will host Philadelphia Eagles.
Panthers are 4-1 after five games, having been looking pretty good. Heavy defeat against Saints is the only thing keeping them from perfect record, but wins in New England and in Detroit have been enough to price them as one of the best teams in NFL so far. Newton struggled in the opening games, mostly because he just returned from the shoulder surgery this summer, but in the last two games he looked like old Cam Newton. Everything seemed to be working for Panthers recently, and while defensively they could`ve been more solid, offense has had enough to overcome those problems. Coming into this game, Panthers will be without C Kalil, while DE Peppers and QB Newton are questionable having been limited in practice but are expected to play.
Eagles are also 4-1, having lived up to expectations so far. They have been looking pretty solid in all aspects of play, with their only loss coming against unbeaten Chiefs. In the last game they thrashed Cardinals 34-7 in what was another great game for Wentz who had 21 passes for 304 yards. RB Blount also contributed with his 74 yards, while the defense also did their bit. Coming into this game, however, they will most likely be without right tackle Johnson who suffered concussion against Cardinals. That is the most important position in the offensive line, and since Wentz is 2-8 without him, it is obvious how big of a problem it will be for Eagles if he doesn`t play.
Both teams are coming in good form, but Panthers are slight favourites mostly because of home-field advantage. Also, if Johnson ends up being absent it will be a massive blow for Eagles` chances. Eagles are the best team in the league in converting third downs while Panthers are second, and therefore it is natural to expect that the game will be won there. Panthers will have a hard time establishing running game, which hasn`t been successful so far, but they will have enough weapon nevertheless. Eagles will surely struggle without their right tackle who is almost certain to miss the game, since it is hard to see him recovering from a concussion in three-days time. If Johnson was playing, I would`ve probably gone with over 45 points, but since he is most likely to miss out, I see Panthers being able to control this game and snatch a close victory. Because of that, I will back Carolina with -3 spread as I believe they can cover at least that.