C3 On the Line: Eagles at Panthers

C3 On the Line series bets the Carolina Panthers line and discusses the stakes of the game in the context of the Panthers season. CarolinaCatChronicles.com's On the Line is not betting advice, but a means for football discussion. 

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers

Eagles -3 (45 O/U)

The tables have turned since last season where a struggling Panthers team ventured to Philadelphia to take on a surging 6-2 Eagles team.  This year, Carolina is undefeated and the Eagles have looked defeated at times.  The Panthers are riding high after beating their nemesis, the Seattle Seahawks, in their house.  Hosting an Eagles team that sits at 3-3 on Sunday Night Football will make for an interesting match.  Will the Panthers extend their undefeated streak or will they fall prey to a trap by a Eagles team playing who oddly leads their division with a .500 record?  Here’s a look at how C3 staff is.  

All Bets Are In:

Professor’s Bet: Panthers -3   (Taking the Under ) 

Vegas clearly views this game as a trap.  Undefeated and facing a team whose offense threw more interceptions than touchdowns last week, and still only favored by 3 points?  Generally, teams are spotted three points just for being the home team.  If this rule holds true, Vegas has this game at a pick’em essentially.  That’s hard to believe.  The Panthers look dialed in, and although there’s an opportunity for a victory hangover, the stench of last year’s loss to the Eagles still stinks in the Panthers nostrils.  This game will give us a nice peek into the mental focus of the team, and I think they live up to the challenge. 

Panthers 27-17

Commish’s Bet: Panthers-3 (Taking the Over 45)

The Professor has tapped into my own mind, yet again, as we have similar views on this contest with my own thoughts being slanted more into the “coming out flat” area due to the physicality of last week’s game. The external “pundits” STILL have yet to catch on about the unique nature of the offensive system Mike Shula has in place. Shula has been widely panned by fans, but to be fair, he has tailored the offense to those things that Cam Newton does well, and this approach has him entering the conversation for NFL MVP. Luke Kuechly is back for the second straight game after the team was conservative about bringing him back from the NFL concussion protocol which I view as the right decision for the long term. As for Philly, Sam Bradford has not impressed. Their offensive line is shaky at best, and DeMarco Murray has started slowly himself but come along the past couple of weeks. Carolina’s defense goes up against a passing attack consisting of the vaunted Riley Cooper, the actually pretty good Jordan Matthews, and M.I.A. rookie WR Nelson Agholor. Josh Norman covers Matthews, and SLB Thomas Davis is as good in pass coverage as exists in any linebacker. I actually think it’ll be RYAN Matthews who has the better game with his speed to get to the edge for a couple of nice runs as well as having great hands. Defensively, the biggest worry is 3-technique Fletcher Cox, who is every bit as good as Kawann Short. The best thing that could happen to Carolina is Chip Kelly trying to run his “hurry up running game” to go 3-and-out, which would completely exhaust his own defense because he’ll be playing into the strength of a strong defense. That’s how I see things. The game should be out of hand for Philly by the 3rd quarter, and they’ll score some in garbage time to make things respectable, albeit against some of our “twos” on defense.

Carolina 31, Philadelphia 20

Mel Mayock Bet: Panthers -3 (Taking the over) 

This is a tough one for me as one side of me says this is a primetime game (which we haven’t shined in to often), and the Eagles are surging.  Another reason to pick the Eagles is the fact that I picked the Seahawks last week and we see how that turned out.  BUT, I’m throwing caution to the wind and taking the home team to kick Chip Kelly’s butt all the way back to Philly.  The key is stopping them on 1st down as pointed out by the Professor in his recent article.  And the Defense will have to be prepared for the up tempo style of the Eagles.  But I see the Panthers getting another monkey off their back and win tonight.

Panthers 34-31