Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Date and Time: Sunday, December 04, 2016, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Week 13 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Seahawks -6.5, 45
Panthers vs. Seahawks TV Coverage: NBC
A week removed from winning a hard fought 23-20 decision over the division rival Saints and having extra time to prepare for its game with the Raiders, not many foresaw the Panthers falling into such a huge early hole. But the Panthers showed some true grit battling back from a 24-7 halftime deficit to take a 32-24 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, the defense was unable to hold on allowing Oakland to score a touchdown and successfully convert the two point conversion before Sebastian Janikowski’s 23 yarder with 1:45 remaining earned the Raiders the 35-32 win. The Panthers did cover the game by the hook to put an end to its three-game cover-less streak, but winning the game was a must with Atlanta running away with the division.
In beating the Bills 31-25, the Patriots 31-24 and the Eagles 26-15, many believed the Seahawks were back to being the dominant team that’s terrorized the NFC for the last handful of seasons. That hypothesis was proved to be grossly incorrect this past Sunday when Seattle went into Tampa Bay and was dominated en route to dropping a 14-5 decision. The loss marked the third time this season that Seattle was held in single digits.
Wilson was god-awful in completing just 17 of his 33 passes for 151 yards and two interceptions without an interception. Most alarming was the offenses inability to open any holes for Thomas Rawls against the league’s No. 22 ranked rush defense. When it was said and done, Wilson was the team’s leading rusher with 80 yards on eight carries. Rawls went for just 38 yards on 12 carries and didn’t have a single catch out of the backfield. Hopefully this was just a mulligan and not a sign of things to come for an offense most thought to be back on track.
Luke Kuechly – The heart and soul of the Panthers defense was sorely missed last week with Derek Carr repeatedly peppering the second level of the defense. All of the Raiders scoring plays were from short range. You have to imagine things would have been a little different had Kuechly been able to suit up. With Jimmy Graham and Rawls readily able to hurt this defense in the midrange passing game, Carolina needs their captain back STAT!
Earl Thomas – The Seahawks sorely missed their safety valve last Sunday after Mike Evans torched the secondary for 104 yards and two touchdowns early to set the tone of the game. Newton connected on 88 and 44 yard scoring strikes to Ted Ginn Jr. and Kelvin Benjamin last week, and he’ll no doubt be letting it fly once again with Carolina likely unable to do much on the ground.
Panthers vs. Seahawks Free Picks
Carolina swept the two games these teams played last season winning 27-23 as 7 point CenturyLink underdogs and 31-24 as 2.5 point home favorites in the playoffs. Each game combined to surpass the closing number to move the over to 3-0 versus the total odds at BookMaker.eu in the last three meetings.
The setup for this game is eerily similar to the Chiefs/Broncos game from last Sunday night. Kansas City looked terrible in dropping a 19-17 home decision to the Bucs, but then went on the road and took every punch Denver through its way before pulling out the 30-27 win in overtime. Is it possible Tampa bay caught two teams looking ahead to the following week’s game in back-to-back weeks? I think it’s certainly plausible. Look for Seattle to revert back into the form that saw it win and cover three straight to reclaim its catbird seat in the NFC West and put the screws on a Panthers side that just might have thrown in the towel after incurring last week’s gut-wrenching defeat.
Panthers vs. Seahawks ATS Pick: Seahawks -6.5 at BookMaker.eu
Panthers vs. Seahawks Score Prediction: Seahawks 35 – Panthers 13