Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears: NFL Week 8 Picks Against the Spread

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
Sunday, 10/28/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Detroit -3
Current Betting Line:  Detroit -2.5
Opening Total:  43.5
Current Total:  43
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton needs to regroup emotionally heading into the Windy City

Carolina has lost four games in a row, including a 19-14 setback to the Dallas Cowboys as one-point home underdogs.  The Panthers are spiraling out of control, as they fired their general manager this week, while also placing a couple of key defensive players on injured reserve.  “Right now, there is something missing,” commented Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.  He should have no problem getting motivated for this week’s contest, considering he started his playing and coaching career in the Windy City.  Carolina is 5-10 ATS as a road underdog the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 9-5 in that situation.

The Panthers need quarterback Cam Newton to return to his form of a year ago, which led to being named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.  Carolina’s offense is averaging nearly seven points less per game than it did through six games in 2011, as opposing defenses have come up with solid game plans in stopping the former Auburn Tigers star.  Wide receiver Steve Smith should be his main target, considering he’s averaged 166.3 receiving yards in four games against the Bears.

Chicago is playing with a ton of confidence in winning its last four games, which includes a 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions as 6.5-point home favorites on last week’s Monday Night Football broadcast.  The Bears are getting it done on the defensive end, with cornerback Charles Tillman receiving plenty of accolades, as he’s been the NFC’s defensive player of the week in the team’s last two games.  Chicago is 2-5 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Bears have won their first three games this year against opposing quarterbacks that were previously taken with the first overall pick in the last four NFL drafts.  Chicago knows it faces a stiff test in this particular affair, considering it allowed 543 yards in a 34-29 win as seven-point home favorites in last year’s meeting.  The stop unit ranks first in the NFL in points allowed and takeaways.

Sports bettors will likely back the Panthers due to their 4-1 ATS mark after a spread loss, while the home team is 0-3-1 ATS in this series.

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