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  • Event: (251) Chicago Bears at (252) Carolina Panthers
    Sport/League: NFL
    Date/Time: October 18, 2020 1PM EDT
    Play: 3% – Carolina Panthers -125
    Play Rating: 3%
    Result: Loss

     3% Take Carolina on the MONEYLINE (#252)

    I’m buying the Panthers a lot more than I’m buying the Bears at this stage of the season.  Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote about Carolina prior to their outright upset win over Arizona two weeks ago.  Numbers have been edited to reflect current realities:

    The Panthers were primed to pull the upset over the Raiders in Week 1, but they got stuffed on a 4th and inches late in the game as they were driving for the winning score.  In Week 2, Carolina rallied from 21-0 deficit to make it a one score game in the fourth quarter.  As the Bucs were trying to burn the clock and get one first down so they could kneel, Leonard Fournette broke through the line and raced to the end zone for a ‘meaningless’ touchdown.  Both of those two games had legitimately misleading final scores.  And when star RB Christian McCaffery got hurt against the Bucs, the markets crashed on the Panthers as they travelled to LA.

    Against the Chargers, Carolina was the better team on both sides of the football.  McCaffrey’s replacement, RB Mike Davis: “The first two weeks we felt like we weren’t really playing as we should.  This week (against Arizona) we wanted to be physical and just play for each other.  That’s all it was.”  Carolina’s defense allowed 65 points and didn’t record a sack in their first two games.  Last week, now that Matt Rhule has had a chance to coach them up, they notched two sacks and forced three turnovers.  Teddy Bridgewater looks comfortable too, completing 73% of his passes (#2 in the NFL), and Carolina has ample big play weapons – Robbie Anderson, DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel have combined for more nearly 1100 receiving yards between them.

    Carolina has now won three straight.  They were expected to rank among the worst teams in the NFL coming into the season, and their 0-2 SU and ATS start solidified that expectation – that and the loss of McCaffery.  The betting markets are still a good step or two behind Carolina at this stage of the campaign…which is not something I can say for the Bears, who’s 4-1 start has attracted a fair bit of betting market attention.  But the Bears have been outgained by 0.2 yards per play for the season (Carolina is at +0.5 ypp) and Nick Foles is no Teddy Bridgewater.  In this deflated price range, I made my wager on the moneyline, simply asking Carolina to win!  Take the Panthers (moneyline)

    Line Parameter: 3% at -129 or lower, 2% at -130 or higher