Why Bet on the Panthers to Beat the Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks will be bringing the mystique of having rolled to two straight Super Bowls with them this week when they arrive at Bank of America Stadium for their Sunday afternoon tilt with the Carolina Panthers — including their miraculous escape in Minnesota last week. However, the Panthers should be able to win this 1:05pm Eastern time matchup anyway. Here are some reasons to bet on Carolina to win.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2016
Love the Bye Week
Yes, the Seahawks picked up some momentum by knocking off the Vikings. However, they had to spend hours out in near-zero temperatures to do it, absorbing all sorts of punishment. The Panthers were at home on their couches watching the game. That gave them time to let tailback Jonathan Stewart (foot sprain) and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) heal so that they can return to the roster. Stewart had carried the ball at least 20 times per game for the last eight contests before he had to miss three with that injury, and he looks a lot like Marshawn Lynch does when he’s in full Beast Mode, so he brings a powerful dimension to the Carolina offense. Ginn can burn defenses at any time with his speed and cutting ability. Cameron Artis-Payne is a gifted runner too, and he has picked up confidence while Stewart has been on the bench. The Seahawks have to make their second straight cross-country trip this week, and all that travel will take a toll too.
The 12th Man?
The Seattle Seahawks make a lot out of their home crowd, which can be a raucous presence that disturbs the opposition. However, the Panthers have turned their home stadium into just as powerful a weapon. Right now, the Panthers have won 11 straight home games, including their wild card playoff game last year when they knocked off Arizona. This year, they have won their eight home regular season games by an average margin of 16 points — and an average margin of 32 points in the last three. Quarterback Cam Newton features a passer rating that is 10 points higher at home, and he’s thrown five more touchdown passes at home. So the Panthers have a formidable home field advantage of their own which will come to bear this Sunday.
Remember October 18!
That’s the day when Carolina went to Seattle and knocked off the Seahawks by the score of 27-23. The Seahawks had been up for most of the game, and then Cam Newton led the Panthers on a couple of touchdown drives to turn the tide. In their three prior meetings, the Panthers had only averaged 9.3 points per game against the “Legion of Boom” defense. One major difference for the Panthers in this matchup has been the play of Greg Olsen, their gifted tight end. Seattle has struggled covering the tight end this season in all of their games, permitting eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends (and 873 yards on 75 receptions).