Eagles Pick: Though the Eagles are the ones traveling to Carolina, they are not the ones with this game in a blindspot. Instead, they enter the game in quite the opposite spot. The Carolina Panthers are coming into Sunday Night Football having just beat a team that’s become their rival, and before last week their bully, in the Seattle Seawhawks. Seattle is quite physical and often beats teams down physically, to the point it has a hangover effect the next week. In fact, the last 10 opponents of the Seahawks in 2014 went 0-10 in their following game (including the Eagles losing to Dallas in Week 15). It also was a very emotional game with a big comeback, as the Panthers and Seahawks were fighting constantly during the game. It’s enough to take something out of them going into this match up with Philadelphia.
The Eagles, conversely, come into the game with the bye on deck for next week—you can bet they’d much rather go into that game 4-3 as opposed to 3-4, and I think they’ll play like it. The Panthers’ strength (run game) plays well with the Eagles, as they are controlling the run. If the Eagles can hit Cam Newton just half as much as they did in last year’s game (9 sacks), then they’d really be able to limit Carolina’s offense. Also, Newton isn’t lighting the field up when he is protected. Over his last 31 games, only twice (including last year’s game in Philadelphia) has he topped the 300 passing yards mark. I think the Eagles can sneak out of Carolina nad head into the bye with a tight, but solid victory.
Pick: Eagles, ATS: Eagles +2.5
NFL Against the Spread Pick: This is such a Giants and Eli Manning set up. With two big division games, back-to-back, Philadelphia and Dallas, Manning seems poised to do his usual “Who is this guy”? routine. After looking awful last Monday night to the Birds, I expect Manning and the G-men to come out looking much sharper and much more sorted out up front. They were a mess and could not protect him at all. Dallas is not a good team right now, getting desperate by going to Matt Cassel at quarterback. The thing with Manning and New York is they can look awful one week, but then the following week look just fine. I think there is a revenge factor here for the way they handed the game to Dallas last time out in Week 1m and I think they are the overall better team. I expect a Giants victory by a touchdown at Metlife.
Pick: Giants -3.5
NCAA Against the Spread Pick: Admittedly, I’m going to ignore Vegas’ screams here. Utah, the No. 3 team in the nation will be in Southern Cal on Saturday night, and for some reason are an underdog. The Trojans are a bit of an unsettled team, being that they lost their coach essentially to alcoholism. The Utes are loaded with a tremendous defense and Devontae Booker, one of the country’s best running backs, and I think they can handle the reeling Trojans.
Pick: Utah +3.5
NFL Three-Team Tease:
- Falcons +5
- Chargers +6.5
Last Week: 4-0, Season: 9-3