Oakland Raiders @ Carolina Panthers Week 16 Preview and Prediction
Carolina will attempt to win three consecutive games for the first time in three seasons, while Carson Palmer and the Raiders hope to build on their first victory since late October.
Since losing eight of its first 10 games, the Panthers have been a transformed team. They have averaged 28.0 points and 407.5 yards while winning three of the last four, surrendering an NFL-low one turnover since Week 12. They averaged a pitiful 18.4 points and 1.8 turnovers in their first 10 outings.
Cam Newton seems to be back in form after struggling earlier in the year and he is a major reason for his team’s turnaround. Over the last four weeks the former Heisman winner has an NFL-best 113.1 passer rating along with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions.
After beating NFC South-champion Atlanta on Dec. 9 and San Diego last Sunday, Carolina searches for three straight wins for the first time since ending the 2009 campaign. Last week Newton threw for 231 yards and two TDs while Mike Tolbert had two rushing scores against his former team. The defense had a massive game only allowing 164 yards (its least since 2008).
The Raiders are also coming off a suffocating defensive display. The Raiders had surrendered an average of 35.8 points during a six-game slide before blanking Kansas City last Sunday, allowing a club low-tying 10 rushing yards in a 15-0 win. Last week’s win was the first victory since beating the Chiefs on October 28th, and its first shutout since 2002.
Oakland Raiders @ Carolina Panther Teaser Play (betting prediction)
I love teaser plays and especially in the NFL. It is a conservative approach where a bettor can find real value on sides and totals. I feel like the Panthers might be laying a bit much at 9.5 point home favourites over the Raiders, but I see this line coming down to at least -9 by game time.
As mentioned, the Panthers look like a transformed club. Newton looks much more confident and the defense is starting to gain an identity. The Raiders needed a perfect performance from their defense in the Black Hole to get past the hapless Kansas City Chiefs in a divisional squeaker. Now Oakland travels East for an early start (10 AM in their local time zone) which is an unfavourable spot for a team that hasn’t played well on the road all year.
The Panthers’ record does not do them justice. They have lost several close games and a few bounces in their favour would put this team closer to the .500 mark. The same can’t be said for the Raiders who have looked like one of the worst teams in football at many points this year.
I dug up this trend with a little research:
The Panthers are 10-0 ATS (+13.9 ppg) since December 1996 when they are off a game in which they allowed fewer than ten points as an underdog.
Teaser Play: Carolina -2.5/Seattle-San Francisco Under 47 (5dimes.eu)
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NFL Record: 10-5-1