The line isn’t exactly surprising considering the Eagles are 1-3 and the Panthers are 3-1.
But are the Panthers as good as their record suggests? There’s evidence to suggest otherwise.
Carolina’s three wins have come over the New York Jets, Houston Texans, and New Orleans Saints. The Jets and Texans were starting two rookie quarterbacks (Zach Wilson and Davis Mills, respectively) while the Saints were starting one of the league’s most high-variance quarterbacks (Jameis Winston). The Panthers didn’t fare as well against the Dallas Cowboys, by far their toughest test this season.
This isn’t to suggest the Panthers are total frauds who have nothing going for them. Matt Rhule was a very good college head coach and his NFL performance thus far is encouraging (much unlike Urban Meyer). Joe Brady is considered to be one of the NFL’s brightest play-callers, hence why he was receiving head coach interview requests (including from the Eagles!) in the offseason. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow is overseeing a unit that ranked No. 1 in the league prior to losing to the Cowboys. Given all the present concerns about Nick Sirianni and his staff, it’s fair to wonder if Sunday could be a coaching mismatch in Carolina’s favor.
History also might be on the Panthers’ side. They’re 12-8 in 20 games against the spread (ATS) since the Rhule era began, which is the fourth best cover rate in the NFL.
Some of the Panthers’ specific ATS splits aren’t as favorable:
- After a loss: 3-7
- Home team: 4-5
- Favorite: 3-3
- Home favorite: 1-3
Then again, the Chiefs were 2-12 ATS heading in to Philly last week. And KC easily managed to cover the spread in the end.
But, hey, the Eagles did show some positive signs in that loss. And they might benefit from the desperation factor in this one? The argument can be made the Birds need this game more. They’re at risk of dropping to 1-4 with a Thursday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up next. The Panthers, by contrast, have some more winnable games on the horizon: vs. MIN, at NYG, at ATL, vs. NE.
The feeling here is that it’ll be a close one that comes down to the wire. The points are tempting in that regard, especially with the Eagles getting an extra half. What say you?
Which bet do you like more?
This poll is closed
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.