Week 15 NFL Betting Preview: New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, North Carolina

Sunday, December 15, 2013, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Carolina -10 1/2
Current Line: Carolina -10 (-105)
Opening Total: 40
Current Total: 41
Opening Money Line: Panthers -525 / Jets +405
Current Money Line: Panthers -460 / Jets +360

Carolina is a 10 point home favorite over the New York Jets in a game with playoff implications for both teams.

Carolina is a 10 point home favorite over the New York Jets in a game with playoff implications for both teams.

The 9-4 Carolina Panthers are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for the two wild card spots in the NFC playoffs. However, Carolina holds the tiebreaker because they beat San Francisco earlier in the season. Both teams are a game ahead of the 8-5 Arizona Cardinals. The Panthers look to rebound from a 31-13 loss last week at the New Orleans Saints, that snapped an 8 game winning streak for Carolina. The Panthers host the 6-7 New York Jets Sunday. The Jets are a game behind the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, and a half game behind the San Diego Chargers for the last playoff spot in the AFC. The Ravens currently hold that position.

Since 2001, the Jets lead the series 2-1 against the Panthers. New York won the last meeting 17-6 in New Jersey in 2009. The teams haven’t played each other in Charlotte since 2005.

The New York Jets are coached by Rex Ryan who might lose his job at the end of the season.  The Jets have home wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18-17, Buffalo Bills 27-20, New England Patriots 30-27 in overtime, Saints 26-20, and last week against the Oakland Raiders 37-27, along with a road win at the Atlanta Falcons 30-28. New York has road losses at the Patriots 13-10, Tennessee Titans 38-13, Cincinnati Bengals 49-9, Bills 37-14, and Ravens 19-3, along with home losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-6 and Dolphins 23-3. The Jets are 7-6 ATS and the total is 8-5 this season. New York was a 3 point favorite at home against Oakland and the total was 39.

The Jets took an early 10-0 against the Raiders. New York would expand the lead to 20-3 in the second quarter, including a touchdown on a blocked punt late in the quarter. The raiders would close the gap to 30-17 by the end of the third quarter. Oakland would pull to within 10 points twice in the fourth, but could get no closer. The Jets hung on for the 37-27 win to snap a three game losing streak and stay alive in the playoff chase. New York had not scored more than 30 points an any game before the Oakland win. The Raiders had 383 total yards including 150 rushing yards. The Jets had 352 total yards including 143 passing yards. Each team had a turnover and 4 penalties.

New York is being outscored 26-17 this season. The Jets are #31 in scoring and #23 in points allowed.  New York is averaging 307.5 yards per game including 181.4 passing and 126.1 rushing yards. The Jets are #30 in both total and passing offense and #11 in rushing. On defense, New York is allowing 337.5 yards per game including 254.9 passing and 82.6 rushing yards. The Jets are #2 in rush defense, #24 in pass defense and #11 in total defense. New York is -18 in turnovers which is last in the league. The Jets are 65/190 on third and fourth down conversions and 75/209. New York has forced 36 sacks and allowed 43 this season. The Jets have one defensive and one special teams touchdown and have allowed 5 defensive touchdowns. New York averages 57 penalty yards per game and opponents average 55.

Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has had his ups and downs this season. He has completed 55.4% of his passes for 2,475 yards with 9 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, along with 46 carries, 230 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was benched in the second half of the loss to the Dolphins a couple of weeks ago, but started against the Raiders. He is probable with a wrist injury. Back-up Matt Simms has thrown for 156 yards with a touchdown and an interception, along with 37 rushing yards.

Running back Chris Ivory has 146 carries for 639 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 2 catches. Bilal Powell has 140 carries, 530 yards and a touchdown, along with 27 catches for 231 yards. Running backs Mike Goodson and John Griffin are both on IR as is fullback Lex Hilliard.

Receiver Jeremy Kerley has 32 catches, 388 yards and 3 touchdowns. Santonio Holmes has 16 catches for 381 yards and a touchdown. Stephen Hill has 24 catches for 342 yards and a touchdown. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Tight end Kellen Winslow has 26 catches, 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jeff Cumberland has 20 catches for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns. David Nelson has 24 catches for 280 yards. Receivers Josh Cribbs, Clyde Gates, and Vidal Hazelton are all out for the season as is tight end Konrad Reuland. Seven defensive players are also on the injury report.

Carolina is coached  by Ron Rivera. The Panthers have losses at home to the Seahawks 12-7, and road losses at the Buffalo Bills 24-23, Arizona Cardinals 22-6 and New Orleans Saints 31-13. Carolina has home wins  over the New York Giants 38-0, St. Louis Rams 30-15, Atlanta Falcons 34-10, New England Patriots 24-20 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-6 along with road wins at the Minnesota Vikings 35-10, Buccaneers 31-13, San Francisco 49ers 10-9, and at the Miami Dolphins 20-16. Carolina is 8-5 ATS and the total is 4-9 this season. The Panthers were 3 point underdogs at the Saints and the total was 47.

Had Carolina beaten New Orleans last week, the Panthers would have been tied for first place in the NFC South and in line for at least a first round bye. They still can do that, as Carolina hosts New Orleans next week, but it will be difficult. The Panthers kicked two first quarter field goals to take a 6-0 lead. However, the Saints would score 31 straight points to take control of the game. The Panthers scored a late touchdown to make the final 31-13. Carolina had 239 total yards including 128 rushing yards. New Orleans had 373 total yards including 304 passing yards. There were no turnovers in the game, but each team had five penalties.

Carolina is outscoring teams 23-15 this season. The Panthers are #1 in the league in points allowed and #17 in scoring. Carolina is averaging 323.1 total yards per game on offense including 193.8 passing and 129.2 rushing yards. The Panthers are #25 in total offense and #29 in passing but #8 in rushing. On defense, Carolina is allowing 296.2 yards per game including 216.8 passing and 79.4 rushing yards. The Panthers are #1 in rush defense, #2 in total defense and #5 against the pass. Carolina is +10 in turnovers. The Panthers are 89/185 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 58/172. Carolina has forced 41 sacks and allowed 36 this season. The Panthers are averaging 33:06 minutes on time of possession. Carolina is averaging 42 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 49. The Panthers have 2 defensive touchdowns this season.

Quarterback Cam Newton  has completed 62% of his passes for 2,776 yards with 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with 88 carries for 495 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has been sacked 36 times this season. This is largely due to the fact that the offensive line has five players on the injury report.

Running back DeAngelo Williams has 164 carries for 662 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 30 catches for 171 yards. Mike Tolbert has 81 carries, 313 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Stewart has 48 carries for 180 yards, along with 7 catches. He is out with an ankle injury.

Receiver Steve Smith has 60 catches, 681 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Greg Olsen has 58 catches, 651 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is probable with a foot injury.  Brandon LaFell has 43 catches, 553 yards and 5 touchdowns. Ted Ginn has 31 catches, 474 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Receiver Marvin McNutt is questionable with an ankle injury The Panthers have 4 defensive players listed on the injury report including 3 defensive backs.

New York is 7-3 ATS after scoring more than 30 points, 3-9 on grass, 1-4 against teams with winning home records, in week 15, in December, and in road games, 0-5 after a straight win and a cover.

Carolina is 6-0 ATS in week 15, 5-0 at home and against teams with losing road records, 7-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 6-1 on grass, 5-1 after failing to cover, and after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 4-1 after a straight up loss, and a loss by 14 points or more, 7-2 overall, 22-8 in December, 19-7 against teams with losing records, 0-4 after gaining 250 total yards or less, and 0-5 after passing for 150 yards or less. The home team has covered the last five games in this series.

The Jets are last in the league in turnover margin and taking on a very opportunistic Panthers defense that is good at forcing turnovers. New York has one of the worst offenses in the league facing a top five defense in Carolina. This should add up to a Panther blowout, but I think the Jets hang around with their defense in an ugly low scoring game. Carolina could suffer a hangover from getting whipped last week by the Saints, knowing they get another chance against New Orleans next week. Carolina wins on a late field goal.

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