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Panthers Have Won Five Straight vs Redskins

After getting throttled by the Saints on Monday Night Football, the Washington Redskins return home to face another NFC South team in the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers needed an insanely long field goal to get past the Giants in Week 5 and now sit 3-1 SU on the season. Carolina has historically taken care of business vs the Redskins, winning five straight in this matchup, but opened as a slight dog to get its first road win of the season.

SHARK BITES
  • The Panthers are 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games on the road.
  • Carolina is first in the NFL with 154 rushing yards per game.
  • Washington ranks 24th in points per game this season at 20.8.

Panthers vs Redskins Game Center

Panthers Have Been A Decent Spread Bet on the Road

Cam Newton may not have looked his best in Week 5 vs the Giants (21-35 with two TDs and two interceptions) but his defense bailed him out when it forced Eli Manning into two interceptions while taking advantage of a special teams gaffe by Odell Beckham Jr. That defense will get a boost with Pro Bowl linebacker Thomas Davis coming off suspension and for a unit that ranks eighth in rushing yards allowed per game, it should neutralize any attempts by the Redskins to run the ball.

Speaking of running the ball, have you heard of the Carolina Panthers? The No. 1-ranked rushing attack in the NFL at 154 yards per game? Well, if you don’t know, now you know because the Panthers are legit at the one thing that suits their star quarterback, who has totaled 165 yards rushing through four games to go with three touchdowns.

Carolina’s defense may have given up 31 points to the Giants but when you dig deeper into that unit, you see they have been quite good this season. The Panthers defense is only allowing teams to convert 30.8 percent of their third-down chances and is the least penalized after five weeks. Despite only playing four games, they have forced quarterbacks to throw seven interceptions, which ranks fourth in the NFL.

This is why I think Carolina easily covers the spread in this game, as its defense is one of the top units in the NFL and the offense can control the clock with its ground-and-pound attack. The Panthers are an excellent 8-4 ATS in their last 12 road games and they’re 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.

Offense Hard to Come by for Deadskins

Washington’s Week 5 showing vs the Saints on Monday Night Football was so pathetic that they shouldn’t be allowed to be within 7 points on the spread vs another team for the rest of the season. Alex Smith and the Redskins offense regressed heavily to only manage 19 points, with the rushing attack mustering a measly 39 yards on 18 carries. For the season, the Skins rank 24th in the NFL in points per game (20.8) and both of their starting running backs, Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, left the Saints game with minor ailments.

Alex Smith has never really been considered a deep-ball threat as a quarterback in his career (6.94 yards per attempt). While he can be an excellent game manager, it should be a huge cause for concern when you see Washington has only managed four passing touchdowns this season and ranks 20th in yards per game through the air (245). Josh Doctson’s absence has left them with no receiver who can take the top off the defense as the Redskins rely on mid-range threats Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that no player on Washington’s roster has topped 100 yards receiving in a game this season.

The positive news for Redskins backers is Washington is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games at home (dating back to last season) and Alex Smith is notoriously better when on home field as he owns a 55-25 SU career home record in 80 games while completing 65 percent of his passes compared to 58 percent in career road games. While those stats are obviously encouraging, the memory of them gagging at FedExField to the Colts in Week 2 makes me very uneasy about ever backing them as a favorite.

Which Way Should Totals Bettors Lean?

The total opened at 45 and while there are conflicting trends for either side, I’m taking the OVER. Carolina is riding a three-game OVER streak this season with the average combined score of 57 points per game while the OVER also hit in the last two games involving the Redskins with an average combined score of 55 points. I expect Washington to get their poop in a group and fare better offensively so the 45 points feels like a gift.

My Pick is…

To take Carolina to cover. This Panthers team is legit and I think in a tier just behind the Rams for best in the NFC. Carolina has been steady offensively and with the return of Thomas Davis to the stout defense, it could be another long day for Alex Smith and the Redskins’ dink-n-dunk offense.

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