On the Line: Carolina at Green Bay

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 On the Line is not betting advice, but a means for football discussion.

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers

Green Bay -6.5 (49.5 O/U)

For the first time in weeks, Sunday’s game doesn’t seem to be do-or-die.  Maybe it’s because winning in Green Bay against a decent Packers team is just difficult.  Another tough week on the road, the Carolina Panthers are +6.5 dogs in this week’s matchup against the surging Packers.  Here’s a look at if they can cover these stakes.

All Bets Are In:

Professor’s Bet: Panthers 6.5   (Taking the Under 49.5)

There may be more homer in me than usual, but I think the Panthers can actually win this game.  Any Packer team led by Aaron Rodgers is going to be tough.  This Green Bay team has some real vulnerabilities, however.  Their defense isn’t intimidating and the offense, aside from the Rodgers consistency and an explosive receiving core, isn’t complete.  The offensive line has problems that have resulted in a less than impressive running game and the receivers aren’t that big.  If Carolina can limit big plays and get consistent pressure on Rodgers, the Panthers can look to control time of possession and pull out a win.   Carolina 24-23

Commish’s Bet: Packers +6.5 (Over the 49.5)

As the Professor said above, the Packers have issues with their offensive line and their defense isn’t an intimidating one. Does this situation sound familiar? Carolina’s season thus far is reminiscent of the Star Trek “Mirror Universe” where the Federation was the bad guys, Spock had a beard, and Sadism was a part of everyday life. Well, the Panthers of 2014 would seem to be a tad sadistic with the mystifying lawndart-like performance of the defense versus preseason expectations while the offense actually has been the squad carring the team to this point. The problem is the Packers are a different team at home and having had only two home games thus far, they’ll be chomping at the bit to play in front of a friendly crowd. They’ve also averaged 36.5 PPG in their two home games...both of which were victories. The Packers still have the edge in offense with Randall “Tex” Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and in powerful RB Eddie Lacy. The Panthers rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin is listed as questionable, but fully participated in practice. He has to hit benchmarks in the NFL’s Concussion Protocol to play, but even if he does play, he may not be 100%. The pivot-point as it were might be James Stewart as he’s the only Carolina RB with any experience healthy enough to play. Tolbert, Whittaker, and D-Will all are listed as doubtful. When all is said and done, I don’t see our secondary being able to hang with the number of weapons AR-12 has at his disposal. Cam’s heroics should keep the game within reach - look for him to run the ball 15+ times again - but too many factors point to the Packers having the upper hand in this contest. Unless and until I see some stability on Carolina’s defense, I can’t prognosticate any issues the Pack might have moving the ball, but Carolina’s game plan could make a difference. They’ll want to run the ball to keep AR-12 on the sidelines, but with the O-line issues added to the RB issues, Carolina should again struggle to run the ball both effectively and consistently.  Green Bay 38, Carolina 27

PanthersDrafter’s Bet:  Panthers -6.5   (Taking the Over 49.5) 

The Panthers certainly can win this one.  The Packers are susceptible to QBs like Cam that can run the read-option.  They gave up 49 yards rushing last week to Ryan Freaking Tannehill.  And there is no QB truly like Cam, is there?  Him running like he did last week is going to take us a long ways this season.  He has become the complete QB (at least he was last week).  He will need to unveil that S on his chest once again this week.   The difference in winning or losing will be can we run the ball and can we stop the run.  If JSTEW runs well, we will win.  Just not sure that will happen.  If we can stop Lacy, they become predictable which means we’ll get pressure on Rodgers in the second half.  However, I’ve been to Lambeau Field for a Panthers game.  That place is magical and I hate to say it, but it will take some good fortunes to win there.  I say we cover but fall short.  Hope I’m wrong. 31-30 Packers

Justin Raymond’s Bet: Panthers -6.5  (Taking the Over 49.5)

Before the season started I predicted the Packers to win this game 27-20. But, the Carolina Panthers defense is allowing opposing teams to score 21.16 points per game this season and is only getting worse. Having a defense that can’t pressure the quarterback and can’t cover wide receivers, is a bad combination when you’re going up against an elite quarterback . The Packers defense isn’t any better so this game is going to be a shootout. 31-24 Packers