NFL Free Pick: CAR/NYG

The No. 1 seed in the NFC is on the line this Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey when the New York Giants host the Carolina Panthers.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 16.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Giants -3 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 37.5 total points.

Key Trend: The Giants are 16-4 against the spread in their last 20 games and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games at home. The over has also covered in four of Carolina’s last five games and six of their last nine games on the road.

Key Stat: The Giants are averaging 200.9 yards per game through the air and 147.6 on the ground. They’ve only allowing an averaging of 90.1 yards per game on the ground this season, while the Panthers are allowing 111.5.

Game Outlook: The Panthers might be the hotter team in this matchup after winning two straight (compared to the Giants, who are losers of two straight), but they’ve been a different team on the road this year. Their offense revolves around their dynamic running game, but the Giants’ front seven has been outstanding against the run this season and they have a clear advantage at home. The key will be whether or not New York has enough offensive fire power to edge out a victory because the Panthers have played very well defensively of late and without Plaxico Burress, Eli Manning and the passing game has suffered. Getting Brandon Jacobs back will help, but it’s unclear at this point how effective he’ll be after missing last week’s loss to the Dallas due to injury. Again, we know Carolina might be the hotter team right now, but the last time they played on the road they allowed 45 points and were crushed by division rival Atlanta. We didn’t think the G-Men would lose two in a row all season, but they did. We definitely don’t think they’re capable of losing three in row, especially not with Jacobs back in the mix. Expect the Giants to get back on track this week. For the rest of our Free NFL Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 16 matchup between the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants game is

NEW YORK GIANTS -3

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

New York Giants 23

Carolina Panthers 17

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (37.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/21/08 1:00PM ET

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