Panthers vs. Rams Prediction
Are the Panthers a safe bet to cover as a small favorite today in Los Angeles when they take on the Rams at 4:05PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Rams are 3-point home underdogs versus the Panthers after opening as a 2.5-point dog. As for the total, the number opened at 45.5 before being bet down a half-point to 44.
The Panthers are 0-3 on the road this season compared to 2-2 at home and have lost four straight road games dating back to last year after having won each of their previous nine games away from Charlotte. One problem that has led to their road woes this season is that they're allowing 36.7 points per game, second most in the NFL behind the 49ers. They're also allowing 366.7 passing yards per game and 7.3 yards per play on the road, both rank dead last in the NFL.
The Rams have lost three straight games following a 3-1 start, which might have coach Jeff Fisher contemplating a change at quarterback. In the Rams' last game, a 17-10 loss to the Giants in London two weeks ago, Case Keenum threw four interceptions despite the Rams' defense keeping the team in the game. No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff reportedly got more reps during the team's bye week but it remains to be seen when the rookie will actually take his first snap in the NFL.
OUR PREDICTION: In the past this has been a game Fisher's team has won. The Rams are often a poor play when the stakes are high but when nobody's looking, they'll sucker punch an opponent as an underdog (see wins over the Seahawks the last few years, as well as the Saints and Broncos). That said, Keenum is a mess and the Panthers may have gotten back on track with their impressive win over the Cardinals last Sunday. Carolina still has a stout front seven, which means trouble for Todd Gurley and Los Angeles' going-nowhere-fast running game. This feels a little too safe, but the Panthers should cover the field goal today in L.A.
NFL WEEK 9 PREDICTION: CAROLINA PANTHERS -3