Kansas City Chiefs (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-5 SU, 2-5-1 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: KC +3/CAR -3
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The Kansas City Chiefs come to Bank of America Stadium to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in week ten. The Chiefs, as they've been prone to do, are on a nice win streak after winning their 4th game in a row in a 19-14 win over the Jaguars on Sunday. Somewhat quietly, they are now 6-2 and right in the thick of things. Carolina also looks to be on the upswing, winning their second game in a row on Sunday in a 13-10 win over the Rams at the LA Coliseum. After a 1-5 start, the defending NFC champions are looking to nose closer to relevancy again with another win on Sunday.
The Chiefs were up against it from a personnel-standpoint on Sunday. They were without their starting QB, RB, and their top receiver and tight end left the game. Once again, they were able to ride their defense to victory. Second-stringer Nick Foles was able to move the Kansas City offense just enough to get over the hump. They were without one of their top contributors in Spencer Ware. Hopefully for the Chiefs, Smith and Ware are ready to return to the fold this week. The lack of offensive production didn't hurt so much against the lowly Jags, but things should be a lot tougher on the road this week against a Panthers team that has suddenly sprung to life.
On Sunday, Jeremy Maclin hurt his groin and had to leave the game early, while Travis Kelce was ejected for throwing a towel at an official in protest. The Chiefs have really been resilient in both the face of injuries and an offensive cast of players that is pretty bare. They've done well to keep the ground-game moving with injuries derailing star back Jamaal Charles. Charcandrick West and Tyreek Hill have had their moments, but getting Ware back in the fold is imperative. And it's bad enough when Maclin is your number-one receiver, but without him, they are really without firepower. Kelce is a big weapon, with Albert Wilson being a key playmaker at times, but more injuries could be costly.
The Chiefs' defense was able to make an impact in the Jacksonville game. They continue to disrupt the opposing quarterback. Dee Ford is becoming an imposing pass-rusher. After 3.5 sacks the week before, he added two more against the Jaguars on Sunday. They recovered three fumbles, while Ramik Wilson registered a pick. They can be a little shaky against the run, towards the bottom of the standings through eight games. And Jacksonville's Chris Ivory had a pretty big performance on Sunday, going over 100 yards. And while they're not iron-clad, particularly on the road, they make plays and are usually clutch in key spots.
This is an interesting spot for the Panthers—a sort of dye-casting fork in the road game. We've seen in past seasons where the Panthers are able to overcome really bad starts to the season with prolonged winning streaks that get their seasons back on the right track. Two wins have restored some confidence after a 4-game losing streak to start the season 1-5. They're starting to show some pluck again. It wasn't easy, as the Rams' defense pounded Cam Newton for much of the afternoon. Newton, however, showed some of the resolve befitting a league MVP and soldiered through it en route to a win. It didn't hurt to have a defense that kept LA off the scoreboard until the 4th quarter.
Newton was under siege in Los Angeles on Sunday, getting sacked five times and hit and hurried throughout the day. Newton made the most of what he had, hitting Greg Olsen with a TD strike, while efficiently navigating the offense to just enough production to keep the Panthers on the plus-side of things. The run-game wasn't firing, with just 59 yards on 25 carries. Receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Ted Ginn, Jr, made some nice catches. Still, it was the defense that did most of the heavy lifting.
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The Panthers' defense has been a huge part of their ascension in the past few seasons. And this year has seen a diminished group. Injuries and departures certainly contributed to that, but the intimidation factor was gone, as was the stoutness they showed in the past. On Sunday, Kony Ealy and Thomas Davis got sacks, with reserve end Mario Addison getting two sacks. Davis also got an interception on the day. We saw vestiges of the Carolina defense that had become a cornerstone of the Panthers' success. Todd Gurley was kept in check and the Rams' offense was unable to establish much continuity. For three and a half quarters, the Rams were kept off the scoreboard at home. The Panthers look forward to more of that this week.
Wins over a wayward Cardinals team and the sideways Rams bunch doesn't signal a Carolina revival. But they've done what they were supposed to do the last few weeks and prevented their season from going down the drain. Based on the previous ability they've shown to resuscitate a season that has gone sour, one could anticipate continued success. But that doesn't mean we won't see some of the things that led to them being down in the first place—a stagnant offense and a defense that isn't what it once was. Kansas City is like a truth-machine, as they are able to exploit opponent's weaknesses to their own benefit. They're a resourceful team in that way. I'm taking the points.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Kansas City Chiefs plus 3 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting he Kansas City vs. Carolina game in the comfort of your own home at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!