Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Carolina +103 over WASHINGTON
1:00 PM EST. Amazingly, Washington can clinch the NFC East title with a win over the Panthers and a Giants loss or tie. If Washington ties the Panthers, it can still clinch with a Giants loss and a tie in the Eagles-Cowboys game. On the other hand, the Giants can overtake Washington if they beat the Ravens and Washington loses to Carolina.
The market perception is that the Panthers have nothing to play for while the Football Team is the frontrunner in the NFC East. While that’s true, nothing gives a team greater satisfaction than taking down a potential playoff team. San Francisco played like it was life or death yesterday for example. Now we get a team that is not used to success in a “must-win” situation. Furthermore, Washington’s success has been largely predicated on their defense thriving and we have written numerous times that there is no such thing as good defenses anymore, only inept offenses.
Furthermore, there is the story out of D.C. this week that quarterback Dwayne Haskins was seen maskless at a stripper party earlier in the week. In Washington’s biggest game in probably a decade, this dude makes the decision to go party maskless with strippers. As a result of his well thought out plan, Haskins was stripped of his captaincy and was also told that there is no chewing gum in class. Now he gets the start after throwing two picks, losing a fumble and paying for lap dances.
The Panthers are 1-8 over their last nine games and now the books are offering up one lousy point against a team that needs to win? The market puts heavy emphasis on wins and losses so a one-win team over a nine-week span should be getting a lot more than one point against a playoff bound squad, no?
For want of one touchdown, the Panthers could have won seven more games. This team has been damn close on a number of occasions against quality opponents. Progress has been made in HC Matt Rhule's first season even if he doesn't know what he has in Christian McCaffery yet.
Look, you would never see the Tom Brady’s, Aaron Rodgers’, Deshaun Watson’s or Russell Wilson’s of the world partying it up with strippers the week leading up to such a big game. That’s a statement that the rest of the team should not trust him to lead and if they can’t we are not either. Teddy Bridgewater appears to be improving and at the very least, he’s been a trusted student of the game that strives to succeed.
To recap, Carolina has lost three straight and eight of nine while Christian McCaffery is likely done for the season. Furthermore, there appears that the Panthers have very little to play for while the Football Team has everything to play for and therefore “must win”. The streets of Vegas are lined with ripped up tickets on teams that had to win but didn’t and now this team is just a one-point favorite? The books are telling us who to bet and we’re absolutely going to bite.
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Carolina +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)