Public Favors Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are off to a great start this season, winning both of their games in the fourth quarter after staging comebacks. Quarterback Jake Delhomme has played very well, throwing for 375 yards and a touchdown, while rookie running back Jonathan Stewart is already making an impact, rushing for 130 yards and two touchdowns. The Carolina defense has been steady, too, although it has relied a lot on the turnover.
The Vikings, on the other hand, are not off to a great start, dropping both of their games by less than a touchdown. Head coach Brad Childress decided to make a change at quarterback this week, benching Tarvaris Jackson for 37-year old Gus Frerotte. While Frerotte should give the team a small boost in the passing game, the Vikings are going to need running back Adrian Peterson, who is batting a hamstring injury, to once again be dominant. Minnesota’s secondary needs to step up, too, after two suspect performances against the Packers and Colts.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBG Global have made the Vikings a 3-point favorite and the over/under total has been set at 37.5. Current public betting information shows that 77% of bettors favor Carolina to cover the 3-point spread.
The Vikings are in a bit of flux, so it’s time to lean on the hot-starting Panthers. They have a better overall team and they benefit from getting wide receiver Steve Smith back from a two game suspension. Delhomme and Smith should have no problem moving the ball against Minnesota’s suspect secondary, as long as Carolina’s offensive line can keep defensive end Jared Allen in check. We predict the Panthers over the Vikings 27-17.
Panthers at Vikings Point Spread and Over/Under Total
(!) [WR] Steve Smith missed last game, probable - Suspension Served - 09/14/08
[CB] Chris Gamble is "?" - Arm - 09/17/08
[LB] Na'il Diggs is "?" - Shoulder - 09/17/08
[WR] Ryne Robinson missed last game, %27?%27 - Knee - 09/14/08
[G] Travelle Wharton missed last game, %27?%27 - Knee - 09/14/08
[QB] Matt Moore is out 4-6 weeks. - Leg - 09/03/08
[DE] Jayme Mitchell IR - Knee - 08/09/08
[WR] Aundrae Allison is "?". - Foot - 09/18/08
[RB] Maurice Hicks is upgraded to probable - Foot - 09/17/08
[S] Madieu Williams is expected to miss 6 weeks. - Neck - 08/15/08
[DT] Kenderick Allen IR - Wrist - 08/19/08
(!) [RB] Adrian Peterson is probable, but not 100% healthy. - Hamstring - 09/17/08
[LB] Heath Farwell IR - Knee - 08/11/08
[DT] Ellis Wyms is "?". - Concussion - 09/18/08
[WR] Sidney Rice left last game, "?" - Knee - 09/15/08
[S] Darren Sharper is "?". - Shoulder - 09/18/08
[WR] Bernard Berrian is upgraded to probable - Toe - 09/17/08
[OT] Bryant McKinnie expected to miss 4 games. - Suspension - 08/14/08
[QB] Gus Frerotte is expected to start - None - 09/17/08
[DE] Kenechi Udeze expected to miss entire season - Illness - 08/16/08
CAROLINA is 73-45 ATS (+23.5 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
Head-to-Head Series History
MINNESOTA is 1-0 against the spread versus CAROLINA over the last 3 seasons
MINNESOTA is 1-0 straight up against CAROLINA over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
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