2009 Season NFL Football Past Picks
December 20, 2009
This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.
Minnesota at Carolina
Sunday 12/20 08:20 PM Eastern
5 units on Carolina +9 (-105) (risk 5 to return 5) RESULT: WIN
This one is a bit gut-wrenching for sure. I've faded the Panthers more often than not this season as I have felt all season they were overrated, and really a pretty bad team especially with Jake Delhomme the turnover factory at the helm. Well, now the oddsmakers and public have caught up and they are no longer overrated - maybe the opposite since Delhomme took a seat. Meanwhile, they are playing a team that remains a bit overrated (top 5 team in NFL in + turnovers). The Panthers are a much-improved team since starting 0-3 and losing the three games by a combined 50 points. Yes, they have added five to that loss total, but they have also added five wins. And, the loss margin of 50 points in the first three has turned into just 49 points in their next five losses. The fact is that they have not lost a game by more than 11 points since their poor start. It is likely that Jake Delhomme will not play again for the third straight week (listed as doubtful and no reason to insert him here as he has been terrible). This will be good news as he has been prone to lose games all by himself this season, and the numbers put up by Moore have exceeded what Delhomme has done this season across the board. That creates an opportunity to get extra points in the line, while the results are likely better with the backup QB. Carolina can run the ball as they are averaging 150 yards per gam (4th in the leauge) and 4.8 yards per rush (3rd) and the Vikings are 0-6 under Brad Childress against teams that average 4.5+ yards per rush. The Panthers defense has kept them in games, as they have allowed more than 24 points just once in the last eleven games, and that was 30 to New Orleans. Over those eleven games, the Carolina defense has given up just 19.6 points per game. For Minnesota this is somewhat of a meaningless game. They have all but wrapped up their division and can't win home-field in the playoffs. The result likey just doesn't matter, so expecting their top effort here against a 5-8 opponent just doesn't make sense. The Vikings are 5-13 ATS under Childress after allowing 14 or less points last game. Under John Fox, the Panthers are 37-25 ATS in the dog role and 21-10 ATS after a double-digit loss. Carolina will be more motivated here and Minnesota may be a little fat and happy coming off their big win over Cincinnati. The Vikings have only lost two games this season, but both have come on the road and this is a lot of points to lay on the road. I like Carolina here.