The Patriots opened as 2.5-point underdogs as they travel to Carolina Panthers in Week 11.
You read that right – the Patriots are coming off a historic dismantling of a team with a two-time Super Bowl-winning QB and a bye, and they are underdogs. Forget for a minute about the fact that the Pats looked great against the Steelers. They are coming off a bye, and Belichick’s record off a bye is absurdly good. Considering the number of kinks they’ve already seemed to work out over the past few weeks, an extra week of work should have them hitting on all cylinders.
Several weeks ago, I mentioned that the Panthers had been sneaky good. After they beat the 49ers, that theory was proven correct. But in the span of a few short weeks, they’ve managed to go from underrated to a tad overrated. Aside from their quality win over San Fran, they have faced a never-ending stream of cupcakes (a criticism that could also be leveled against New England, but whatever). They also benefitted from an early injury to Vernon Davis, who has been one of just two reliable pass-catchers for the 49ers. Given the circumstances, they were supposed to hang in there against the 49ers, and they did. But vaulting them into the top 5 in some power rankings? That’s a bit optimistic.
The biggest wild card here is Cam Newton. The Pats have done well against mobile QBs so far, but they haven’t faced a mobile QB with Newton’s arm (mostly since those types do not exist). Still, he is not without flaws. I’d expect New England to play him much the same that they played Rothlisberger – keep him in the pocket, play coverage and work on wrapping him up when the opportunity presents itself. If they can contain him, they can’t lose.
Enough analysis. I’m taking the Pats and grabbing the points.
Other Lines I Like
Ravens (+2.5) @ Bears
Chicago’s defense might actually be bad enough to make Ray Rice look like he’s not running in pudding. If they can’t get after Flacco, he can attack downfield, which is really the only thing he does well. I think Baltimore stands a good chance to win this one straight up.
Colts (-3) @ Titans
The Colts got beat up last week mainly based on turnovers and a few defensive/special teams lapses. Usually when that happens to an otherwise decent team, it’s time to put a healthy wager on them the following week. Also, Luck>>>>>whoever the Titans trot out there at QB. Is it really Fitzpatrick? Really?
2013 Record ATS: 14-15-1
Record ATS since 2010: 121-114-3