Mike Carlson's NFL Betting: Pounce On The Panthers For Week 8's Best Bet


Wembley was great value last week, especially if you went with the outside bets and took the over on what turned out to be a game of two almost halves, with a few small fractions removed for each team. Meanwhile, the Jets managed a sneaky cover with the other outside bet, which meant if you took all six half of them paid off (Miami covered and then some, but couldn't do the same last night in Foxborough).

I noted last week there was a shortage of teams with winning records playing; this week things get back to more normal, especially with the matchup of two undefeated teams in Denver, as the Broncos and Packers square off, and that's an interesting one, as you'll see below. We also have a couple of injury questions, most notably Big Ben Rothliesberger, who seems ready to return for the Steelers against the undefeated Bengals, and less stop-the-presses, Marcus Mariota who may be back for the Titans, replacing Zach Mettenberger. The Titans lost 10-7 to Atlanta last week; what was Matt Ryan's excuse? He's healthy.

This week's Wembley game is one I'm going to stay away from: both the Lions and Chiefs are reeling, and though I am sometimes convinced motivation remains overvalued, it could all come down to which team arrives at Wembley hungrier but not jet-lagged. Last week wasn't great football, but was a great game. This week may not satisfy the latter criterion.

Philadelphia Eagles v Carolina Panthers : News Photo

BEST BET: CAROLINA (-7 AT 2.02) vs Indianapolis: The Colts are a team in disarray, but they can score points in bunches as long as they protect Andrew Luck and he doesn't make bad decisions under pressure (this has been Peyton Manning's basic problem so far, but you don't see people calling Luck too old). The Panthers' D will cause the Colts fits, and I don't see the Colts' D being good enough to stop what is an offense short of big playmakers but otherwise very efficient.

VALUE BET: OAKLAND (+2.5 AT 2.05) vs Jets: The Jets depend on their running game, and both Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are nursing injuries, so now they're depending on their defense, where Darrelle Revis will be required to hogtie Amari Cooper and their big front to pressure Derek Carr into playing more like Derek Carr and less like Aaron Rodgers, as he looked last week. 

Denver Broncos v Cleveland Browns : News Photo

OUTSIDE BET: DENVER (+2.5 AT 1.94) vs Green Bay: Here's the thing. Despite how shaky Denver's offense has looked, Peyton's had two weeks to rest and massage his neck and arm, and they are always going to score points. The Pack ought to be able to win the game, but it's unlikely they're going to run away with it. Both defenses can create turnovers Monday night as well, so if you don't have faith in the Broncos, I'd be willing to also try OVER (45.5 AT 1.92) because even if one or both offenses misfire, the defenses could well create points themselves.