On the surface, this is a clash between two 4-4 SU teams. But behind every team’s record is form, and in this case, the New England Patriots have the advantage after winning three of their last four contests. The Carolina Panthers, by contrast, are 1-4 in their last five games.
Based only on form, it’s really not surprising to see this game cornered with the Patriots. The question is whether rookie quarterback Mac Jones can maintain his impressive level of play to deliver another victory for the Patriots and a cover for New England’s backers too.
New England Patriots: 4-4-0 SU, 4-4-0 ATS Carolina Panthers: 4-4-0 SU, 4-4-0 ATS
Date: Sunday, November 6. 2021Start Time: 1:00 PM ESTLocation: Bank of America Stadium, CharlotteTV Coverage: CBS
Belichick’s Patriots recorded a key 27-24 victory on the road over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8 of the NFL to improve to 4-4 for second place in the AFC East. Now, the Patriots are one win behind the Buffalo Bills, nipping at their heels in the race for the division title.
As per the betting odds, the Patriots came through as the 3.5-point road underdogs in the upset win. In so doing, New England improves to a 4-4-0 record against the spread.
Mac Jones didn’t have the best of games, but he played his part well enough in what was a typical Belichick victory — often dubbed the Patriots way.
Overall, the rookie quarterback has performed better than most expected he would when he was announced as the team’s starter before Week 1. And through the first eight games of the season, Jones has assembled a convincing body of work that has him in the running for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
It’s fair to say; the Patriots weren’t expected to be quite so competitive in 2021. But as the season crosses the halfway mark, they’re in the thick of it, which is just a testament to Belichick’s coaching nous.
Sam Darnold and the Panthers snapped a four-game skid with a victory over division rival Atlanta Falcons to improve to 4-4 and third place in the AFC South. How much stock should one put in a win over Atlanta? Probably, not much. The Falcons can’t help but flatter to deceiver on a regular basis.
Although Matt Rhule was thrilled to get his side back on track, the day was marred by Darnold, leaving the game with a concussion. Darnold’s status is up in the air as of Wednesday. If he’s not cleared to play, PJ Walker will lead the Panthers instead.
Which scenario is better for Carolina? That’s the million-dollar question. It’s been the source of much debate this week among various NFL analysts, especially after Darnold’s benching the week before in an embarrassing 25-3 loss to the Giants – a game that the Panthers were tipped as the 3-point favorites against the spread.
On the bright side, Christian McCaffrey is back to practicing with the team. Reports suggest he may be available this weekend. So that’s something certainly to keep an eye on as kick-off approaches.
Lookahead lines tipped the Patriots at -1.5, but after Sunday’s round of NFL action closed, the lines re-opened with New England installed at -3. Then, the line jumped out to -3.5 with several betting shops as early as Monday, with the public betting up the Patriots.
The total opened on 40.5 points on Sunday, down from the lookahead total of 43 points. Since betting markets opened, though, the line moved up to 41 points with the over, raking in the early money.
Last week went down as the week of the backup quarterback after Mike White (New York Jets) and Cooper Rush (Dallas Cowboys) delivered captivating victories that defied the NFL odds.
Perhaps, those performances will act as a catalyst for PJ Walker should he get the nod on Sunday. Similarly, those might inspire Darnold to get his act together because right now, he’s on borrowed time as an NFL starter.
At some level, these scenarios might be intriguing. Hope springs eternal, so they say. Realistically, though, neither is tempting enough to come out of the pocket for in this matchup.
Belichick has an impressive record against young and inexperienced quarterbacks – Darnold knows only too well from personal experience, too, having played in the AFC East in his first three years in the league. Why he even saw ghosts once!
Based on the contrasting fortunes of these two sides, and all the other factors involved, the Patriots have to be the better and the smarter bet here for NFL picks. If you can still find the Patriots at -3, that would be infinitely better than -3.5.
However, don’t prevaricate for too long because the line looks to be only headed in one direction: up. Wait too long., and the value will be lost. Then again, if Daniel Jones and the Giants can beat the Panthers 25-3, the Patriots might be alright to win and cover even if the line goes up.
We are loading your bets, and they will be here in a second.