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NFL Free Pick from Linebacker: Jaguars vs Panthers

NFL Free Pick Linebacker Jaguars vs Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Carolina Panthers (CAR -3.5, O/U 41)

It’s a battle of backups in Carolina this Sunday as Kyle Allen and the Panthers host Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars. Both teams have played well under their second-stringers, with Allen boasting a perfect 2-0 record and Minshew winning his last two games to improve to 2-1 on the season in games he’s started.

It’s expected to be a rather low-scoring affair, with the total currently sitting at 41 points. The Panthers enter as 3.5-point favorites at home, and we project they’ll cover the spread in this one. Our model projects a score of 23.3 - 17.7 in favor of the Panthers, giving us a solid wager on Carolina. We recommend a wager of $46 on CAR -3.5 for an average $100 bettor.

The Linebacker’s model is 35-17 ATS (67.3%) for +8.56 units and 33-24 (57.8%) on OVER/UNDERs for +10.6 units through four weeks of NFL, producing a profit of $1,916. Head over to thelinebacker.com to sign up for a free trial, and get access to EVERY NFL Week 5 and NCAAF Week 6 prediction.

Why will Carolina cover the spread?

  • The Panthers defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season. They’re allowing just 287.5 total yards per game (fourth-best) and 4.3 yards per play (second-best).
  • Carolina leads the league with a sack on 11.32 percent of opponent drop-backs, and is tied with the Patriots for most sacks per game, averaging 4.5 per contest. Jacksonville has allowed Minshew to be sacked on 8.57 percent of his drop-backs, which ranks 26th in the NFL since he took over as the starting QB.
  • Jacksonville is struggling to defend opposing WRs with or without Jalen Ramsey active, but he’ll likely miss this Sunday’s game due to a lingering back issue and his trade request. The Jaguars have allowed the sixth-most yards to opposing wideouts (781) this season and just surrendered 15 receptions for 231 yards (15.4 yards per reception) and two touchdowns to Denver wideouts in Week 4.
  • Carolina leads the NFL in avoiding penalties, averaging just 5.0 for 41.5 yards per game. Jacksonville ranks 27th with 8.8 penalties per game and 21st with 68.8 penalty yards per game.
  • If the Panthers build a lead, Jacksonville should have a tough time making up ground. Carolina’s defense ranks first in the NFL with 4.4 yards per pass attempt allowed. Although the Jaguars are 2-1 in Gardner Minshew’s starts, their 5.9 yards per pass attempt ranks 23rd in the NFL.

How to bet the total in Jaguars @ Panthers:

The Linebacker projects a final score of 23.3 - 17.7 in favor of the Falcons. With 41 projected points and an OVER/UNDER of 41, we have no betting suggestion for the total in this game.

Need-to-know stats for Jaguars @ Panthers:

  • 272 total yards: 159.9 passing, 112.1 rushing - Following the same sentiment I echoed above, our model projects the Jaguars will only amass 272 total yards of offense. Carolina’s defense has been superb through four weeks, and we don’t think the offensive weapons of Jacksonville pose much of a threat in Week 5.
  • 17 carries, 75.8 yards, 0.5 TDs, 4 receptions, 31.2 yards, 0.08 TDs - Leonard Fournette should be the featured player in Jacksonville’s offense once again on Sunday. After recording a career-high 225 yards rushing in Week 4, we expect Fournette to have some success with 4.45 yards per carry but fall shy of the 100-yard mark. We project he’ll clear 20 touches thanks to four receptions, but he has a much better chance to score on the ground, as he averaged 0.5 rushing TDs per game in our simulations.
  • 22-36, 237.7 yards, 1.47 TDs - Kyle Allen projects to have a solid game against this Jaguars defense. The second-year QB failed to throw a touchdown pass last week after recording four in his Week 3 start at Arizona, but we anticipate he’ll throw at least one in this game, with a decent chance for two. His 6.6 yards per attempt is nothing to get overly excited about, but that along with the rushing efforts of Christian McCaffrey project to be plenty of offense to get the W on Sunday.
  • 5 receptions, 60.0 yards, 0.39 TDs - I noted the struggles Jacksonville has had covering wide receivers above, and DJ Moore ends up leading Panthers pass catchers in projected catches, yards and receiving TDs. Moore has hauled in four of seven targets in Allen’s two starts, amassing 96 yards and a touchdown on those catches. We expect he’ll be open plenty on Sunday, and should post his best game of the season with Allen under center.