Week 8 was not good for me as far as my picks went. I figured that might happen since it was the first time in a month that I had correctly picked the Thursday game. It seems that however the Thursday game goes for me, the Sunday games tend to go in the opposite direction. That was firmly down last week.
I finished 7-8 against the spread and 10-5 picking games straight up. Not my worst week, but certainly not up to my high standards.
My record for the year against the spread is now 65-56. Picking games straight, it’s 75-45-1.
* All lines come from ESPN.
New Orleans Saints (3-4) at Carolina Panthers (3-4-1)
Thursday, October 30 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network
*Line: Panthers (+2.5)
I want to like the Panthers in this game, largely because they are at home and the Saints just haven’t really played particularly well this season on the road. The Panthers’ pass rush should be able to put pressure on Drew Brees with the home crowd behind them, taking pressure off a porous secondary that could get carved up by Brees if he’s given time.
But the problem for the Panthers is that they will be starting an undrafted rookie in David Foucault at left tackle on an already bad offensive line. Foucault struggled this past preseason and while the Panthers like his upside, it’s not a particularly promising matchup against Junior Galette this week.
The Panthers’ biggest hope will be that they can get their running game going early. It’s a good week for running back DeAngelo Williams to be coming back after missing the last month with an ankle injury. They will need him to show up this week. I’m resting the hopes that the Panthers win mainly on Cam Newton having a big game. He won’t be well-protected, but I think if he and the Panthers offense can get out to a fast start, the Panthers will prevail.
Spread Pick: Panthers
Straight Pick: Panthers