Originally written on The Pass Rush  |  Last updated 11/16/14


We escaped Monday Night with a win thanks to our Monday Night teaser special with the Broncos (+10) & Over 44. My initial gut feeling was to be all over the Falcons (-3), but there was lots of chatter of a Peyton Manning outright win, so I figured, there’s no way Peyton will lose by double digits on Monday Night, right? Well, he almost did, but we got the cover with our teaser thanks to an attempted 4th quarter comeback. We nailed our Sunday and Monday night picks to continue the momentum into week 3. We are now just three days away from a Thursday Night game between the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants.

NEW YORK GIANTS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS (+1.5)

Week 2 Recap

Both the Giants and the Panthers got their first win of the season last week. Eli Manning fueled a 2nd half comeback as he threw for over 500 yards and won 41-34. The Giants were down 24-13 at the half and I was delighted with my Bucs (+7.5) pick. The Giants were then down 27-16 going into the 4th until Eli Manning went HAM on the Buccaneers defense posting 25 points in the 4th quarter to win 41-34. And I still got the cover by 1/2 point.

The Panthers took care of business at home against the Saints as I predicted. The final score 35-27. The Panthers put up 463 yards of offense, but also allowed 486 yards to the Saints. Drew Brees’ early pick-six was the difference in that one. The Panthers also put up over 200 passing yards and 200 rushing yards. Cam Newton was extremely efficient 14/20, 253 yards, 12.7 YPA, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 0 INT, 71 rushing yards, 129.2 QB rating.

Thursday Night Factor

The theme I think you see play out on Thursday night games is the home team covering the spread about two-thirds of the time. We saw that this past Thursday when the Packers took on the Bears. The visiting team is at such a huge disadvantage to go on the road with just three days of rest. That’s likely why you saw the Bears offense sputter as Cutler threw for a mere 126 yards and tossed 4 INTs to the Green Bay defense. If that game was played on Sunday rather than Thursday, I think you would see a much better performance from both teams.

In 2011, the home team on Thursday Night was 6-2 straight up. The Raiders beat the Chargers in week 10 and the Cowboys beat the Bucs in week 15 (no surprise there). Notable upsets from last year on Thursday Night include the Colts beating the Texans in week 16 and the Seahawks destroying the Eagles in week 13. It was the same story in 2010. In 2010, the home team on Thursday Night was 6-2 straight up. The only two teams that won on the road in 2010 on Thursday Night was the Bears over the Dolphins and Colts over the Titans.

Betting Trends

Where is the early money going? It’s flowing on the Giants. 64% like the Giants and 63% like the over. I think it’s a mistake to go with the Giants on the road. I’m going with the Panthers in this one.

Vegas was even thinking of making the Panthers the favorite in this one! As I’ve also been preaching, do not bet against home dogs. This past week the home dogs were 5-1 ATS and are now 8-3 ATS on the season.

Analysis

I already like the Panthers due to the Thursday Night at home factor (home teams are 12-4 on Thursday night in the last 2 years) and the home-dog factor (home dogs are 8-3 ATS this year). The Giants defense has also been exposed in the first two weeks. They’ve given up 29 PPG (ranked 25th) and 370 YPG (ranked 19th). The Panthers have some defensive issues as well, no doubt about that, but the Giants defense has been a huge concern. Now they have to go on the road with a short week and try to shut down Cam Newton at home — a tall task if you ask me.

The injury bug is also after the Giants. RB Ahmad Bradshaw is questionable with a neck injury. I doubt that he plays on Thursday. OT David Diehl injured his MCL and is not expected to play Thursday. WR Domenik Hixon had a concussion last week and is not expected to play Thursday night. LB Keith Rivers was out this past week with a hamstring injury, but may return this week. Backup DT Marvin Austin may sit this one out with a back injury as well.

I’m expecting a heavy dose of the Panthers running attack which will keep the defense honest and allow Cam Newton to work his magic at home. The Giants offense can keep up with anyone though. As Eli Manning showed you last week, you can never count him out. I don’t want to bet too heavy against the Giants since I would take the Giants on a neutral field, but I just can’t ignore the home-dog factor on a Thursday Night. This is worth a small play on the Panthers for me and another game that Vegas scores big on with the public riding the road favorite only to be let down again.

Quick thoughts on the over/under. The over/under is set at a high 51.5. Two explosive offenses with suspect defenses are squaring off which should lead to a lot of scoring. If this was on Sunday, I would like the over, but on a Thursday Night, I would stay away. You saw two lethargic offenses last Thursday and a with quick look at past Thursday Night results from 2010 and 2011, the majority of those games and low scoring. Both teams went over in week 2 after going under in week 1. The over is 6-0 in the Giants last 6 as 0.5-3.0 favorites. The over is 7-0 after the Panthers give up 350+ total yards in the previous game. The over is 4-0 in the Panthers last four following a win. These silly trends favor the over. You may want to tease the Panthers to +8.5 and take the over 44.5 as some extra insurance on the Panthers knowing that the Panthers defense will keep the Giants in this one.

Prediction: Panthers 31 – Giants 28

Pick Against the Spread: Panthers +1.5 (Confidence: 6/10)

Teaser Pick: Panthers (+8.5) & Over 44.5 (Confidence: 7/10)

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended by Dallas PD

Ohio State expects 80,000 at its spring game this Saturday

Bryant strikes out three times in debut; Cubs fans heckle him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA rookies who disappointed in 2014-15 season

Report: Urban Meyer reassured Belichick about Hernandez

Cuban: Harden is MVP, Rockets are not very good

J.R. Smith: 'I don’t think anyone can beat us'

SCOTUS asked to overturn baseball's antitrust exemption

Is Chip Kelly expecting too much from Josh Huff?

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

MLB payrolls continue to rise

NBA playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

There are only two contenders ... in the West?

Woman stripped of marathon win, didn't actually run in race

Matt Barnes' son betrays him for Steph Curry

WATCH: Padres fan saved from falling by alert cameraman

Kemp hosts Seattle party over OKC missing playoffs

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the burden of legacy

Kris Bryant and floor versus ceiling

Top 10 storylines of the NBA Playoffs

A-Rod being taken to court over unpaid legal fees

Could Wilson really be a two-sport star?

Five players who must step up in the NBA playoffs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.