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Newton, Panthers Visit Tua, Dolphins in Near Pick’em

Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers are slight road favorites in Panthers-Dolphins betting odds.

The Carolina Panthers (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS) will try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive on Sunday when they visit the Miami Dolphins (4-7, 5-5-1) as small road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. The Dolphins are riding a three-game winning streak while the Panthers are coming off a 27-21 loss to the Washington Football Team as 3.5-point home favorites last week.

Carolina Panthers vs Miami Dolphins
  • Date/Time: November 28, 1 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Panthers -1 | O/U 43.5 (Line History)
  • Panthers vs Dolphins Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

One would think that Miami would be getting a little bit more respect in this spot at home following the team’s third consecutive victory, but bettors are still not buying enough to make a difference with regard to the point spread.

The line did move to -1 in favor of the home team briefly on Sunday before seeing Carolina go back up to -1 later that night. In other words, the Panthers are getting the early money so far while the total has gone down to 42 from the opener of 43.5 as well. These teams combined for 45 points a week ago against two of the worst defenses in the NFL, making that move understandable.

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Carolina News & Notes

Has the second honeymoon with Cam Newton already ended for the Panthers? Newton’s former head coach, Ron Rivera, got the better of him last Sunday, and his average air yards per pass attempt was a paltry 5.56 against Washington.

Maybe Rivera knew how to defend him, but the jury is still out on whether Newton is a legitimate starter in the league at this stage of his career. The former MVP remains a shell of his former self, and the Dolphins just contained a more recent MVP in Lamar Jackson two weeks ago.

The key to the Carolina offense is running back Christian McCaffrey, not Newton. Each of them carried the ball 10 times vs Washington, and McCaffrey needs more touches.

Miami News & Notes

Miami has surprisingly turned around its season behind second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who stepped in for backup Jacoby Brissett against the Baltimore Ravens in the Week 10 Thursday Night Football game and has not looked back.

Tagovailoa was reportedly not healthy enough to start vs the Ravens but excelled when Brissett got hurt, and he has completed 35 of 46 passes for 431 yards with two touchdowns and one interception since then.

In addition, he has continued to utilize rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who has been targeted an average of 9.5 times over the past six games. Waddle is not getting the same kind of hype as fellow rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals, but he ranks fifth in the NFL in catches (68) and eighth in targets (93).

How Carolina Will Cover

Again, McCaffrey must get the ball more in order for the Panthers to cover the spread. Newton is obviously not the same player he once was, and he needs to realize that and not try to do too much. They are 3-1 in 2021 when McCaffrey rushes more than 10 times.

How Miami Will Cover

While Tua has played well in his two games during the winning streak, it has been the Dolphins defense that has been the difference. If Miami can limit its opponent to 17 points or less for the fourth straight game, then a win and cover for the fourth time in a row is certainly possible.

Computer Pick: Dolphins +1

For more Week 12 NFL predictions, visit our NFL Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • Carolina is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 road games.
  • Miami is 3-0 SU in its last 3 games.
  • The UNDER is 10-4 in Carolina’s last 14 games.