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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers Point Spread - Pick

Philadelphia Eagles (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, October 12, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: PHI +3/CAR -3
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The Philadelphia Eagles come to Bank of America Stadium to face the Carolina Panthers in Thursday Night Football. Both teams enter the short week with a 4-1 record, coming off wins in week five. Carolina scored a nice road triumph against the Detroit Lions, 27-24, and they've started to see a lot of things go right, especially as Cam Newton looks to have rediscovered his MVP form of late. The Eagles also won last week with a lopsided 34-7 win at home over the Cardinals. Which team can push it to 5-1 this week?

The Eagles are looking pretty good. It's still early and a good start last year didn't materialize into much, but this looks different. Carson Wentz, in his second season, looks to have upgraded his game. He has a knack for slithering away from defenders and is able to connect on plays that look broken. He has quite the improvisational flair, as he is making good use of an improved cast of playmakers. And with an aggressive playmaking defense, there is a lot on this team to like as they move forward.

On Sunday, Wentz was again over 300 yards passing, as he connected on four TD passes. They've been getting a little boost from the backfield, as LeGarrette Blount has put together a few good games of late. We see Wentz making connections with Nelson Agholor, who looked like a bust in his first two seasons. He caught a TD on Sunday among his 6 catches and 86 yards. He also got Torrey Smith into the mix with a 59-yard TD strike, with Zach Ertz also catching a TD pass. With Alshon Jeffery, Corey Clement, and others, there are a lot of weapons with which Wentz can work. Most impressive was how Wentz always seemed to come up with the right answers on third down. In 4 of their five games, they have scored between 26 and 34 points.

The Philly defense was pretty good on Sunday. A lot of Arizona drives died a premature death. Despite giving up some yardage, they didn't allow the Cardinals to sustain many drives. There were some good performances on the day. Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham registered sacks, with Tim Jernigan and Beau Allen helping stop the run up-front. The line will get a boost when DE Fletcher Cox returns. Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, and Mychal Kendricks were good manning the second level. And in the secondary, we saw some timely good plays from Rodney McLeod, Malcolm Jenkins, Rasul Douglas, and Jalen Mills. CB Patrick Robinson blocked a field goal. They really seem to mirror coordinator Jim Schwartz' attitude and philosophy, as they are indeed aggressive with a chip on their shoulders.

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Carolina looks pretty good through five games. There was some early concern as to whether Cam Newton would need a lot of time to recover from a shoulder injury, as he looked a bit ragged to start the season. The offense was having trouble finding their footing. But we see Newton has snapped into his old form, with his playmakers getting involved and doing their part. And when the offense is thriving, the defense is that much better for it. And they are doing it despite some costly injuries, with some different guys really upgrading their play to make up for it. We see some of the same edge and versatility that characterized their NFC title run of just a few seasons ago.

Against Detroit, Newton threw for 355 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. He is starting to really put it together. On Sunday, we saw TE Ed Dickson really explode and make the loss of Greg Olsen seem less impactful with 175 yards through the air, including a 64-yard gain. Kelvin Benjamin caught a touchdown on the day and giving this aerial game even more bite is the development of Devin Funchess, who has finally managed to become a consistent contributor to this offense. He also caught a TD pass on Sunday. Also getting involved was Christian McCaffrey, who has struggled rushing, but has become a nice aerial target. He had a TD catch in week five.

Early in the second quarter against Detroit, the Panthers trailed 10-3 and the defense tightened up, allowing the Panthers' offense to take over the game. They battered Matthew Stafford, with Kawann Short getting two sacks, while Shaq Thompson, Captain Munnerlyn, Julius Peppers, and Mario Addison also had sacks. Luke Kuechly was all over the field as usual, while running-mate Thomas Davis recovered a fumble. They are a well-balanced group, solid through-and-through, while making enough big plays and timely stops to give the team a big boost.

Both teams are coming off the short week, with Carolina being at home. It's not an easy game to break down, with both teams offering different things and it not being very clear on how those different elements will combine. Any number of different scenarios could unfold. Both defenses could turn this game on its head with big plays. I see Philly having a solid performance, letting it fly a little bit on both sides of the ball, and covering the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Philadelphia Eagles plus 3 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Philadelphia vs. Carolina game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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