It’s the last Friday before Christmas folks, hope you are all set. Obviously at this time of year the purse strings are let loose a little bit and affording anything in January doesn't seem a realistic possibility. Now with our place in the post season already secured, we already know we're going to have big plans throughout January and hopefully further.
So to mix the advent calendar up a little bit, I'm going to share with you all the bet I intend to place on Sunday. Not a big stake, just a little spare change to hopefully pay for some of the many Christmas presents I have ended up buying. As today is the 18th I've gone for a bet with 18-1 odds.
So here's the best, and I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty confident about Sunday.
Carolina Panthers to win by a margin of 11-20 points and Carolina Panthers Defense/Special Teams to score a touchdown.
9 weeks ago that bet may have sounded ridiculous, does it really sound that bad now? Let's face it, the Giants defense sucks. They rank 32nd on total defense in the league, giving up a whopping 418 yards per game on average. They also rank dead last in passing defense. Therefore, is the loss of Jonathan Stewart so depressing? So maybe our run game won't be quite as effective, but through the air Cam has the chance to torch the worst defense in the league. Scoring points shouldn't be a problem.
So what about stopping them scoring? How do you stop OBJ? Simple - Josh Norman. So far this season he has matched up against DeAndre Hopkins, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, and Mike Evans and given up a COMBINED 89 yards 0 touchdowns. OBJ is different. OBJ is special. I say prove it. Even if he does, and I predict he goes about 65 yards and 1 TD, I still believe we score 35+ points. Even with Beckham and his freakish ability to drag in miraculous catches, they can't outscore us.
So onto the Defense/Special Teams TD half of the bet. Why not? The Carolina Panthers have scored 113 points off takeaways this season, more than everybody else in the NFL and almost 40 points more than our opponents on Sunday. The Giants have some positive takeaway figures but have given up 38 points on give-aways. This leave them level with the San Francisco 49ers, who rank 23rd in the NFL.
I understand that this bet is coming from a position of high confidence, but I have looked into the stats and remembered that we shut Eli down completely last time we met. I honestly see no reason why this double will not come it. Please, please, please, do not mistake me for an expert and blame me if it doesn't win. But if you do have a bit of spare change lying about and fancy a flutter to keep things interesting, feel free to copy this bet. If you do, or you tweak it in anyway, let me know @Danrawly and we can share the... Well we'll see.
By Dan Rawlinson