Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers Odds
The Carolina Panthers (4-9, 2-4 away) travel to face the San Diego Chargers (5-8, 2-4 home) in non-conference Week 15 NFL action. Both teams are coming off big wins against playoff contenders as the Panthers beat the Falcons, while the Chargers took down the Steelers. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find a line of San Diego -3 over Carolina.
Why San Diego Covers
The Chargers always seem to play their best football in the final month of the season. They made a run last year down the stretch, winning four of their final five contests. After a huge 34-24 victory at Pittsburgh last week, they could be well on their way to another big finish this season.
Carolina is coming off an emotional win over a division opponent. It handed Atlanta just its second loss of the season in a 30-20 home victory last week. That victory sets the Panthers up for a letdown spot now. They have to travel clear across the country and face the Chargers this week, which is always a tough situation in the NFL.
One of Carolina’s biggest strengths is a rushing attack that ranks 11th in the league at 119.1 yards per game. San Diego’s biggest strength defensively is a run defense that ranks 4th in the league at 92.5 yards per game. It is only yielding 3.8 yards per carry, and it should be able to keep the Panthers’ rushing attack in check.
This play falls into a system that is 29-8 (78.4%) ATS since 1983. It tells us to bet against road teams where the line is +3 to -3 (CAROLINA) – off an upset win by 10 or more as a home underdog, after the first month of the season.
Norv Turner is 8-1 against the spread when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 25% to 40%) in the second half of the season as the coach of San Diego. The Chargers are winning in this spot by an average of 18.1 points per game.
Why Carolina Covers
The Panthers are one of the best 4-9 teams in the history of the NFL. They have played one of the toughest schedules in the league for starters, and they have simply fallen short in so many close games. The breaks just have not gone their way this season, but things are starting to look up.
Seven of Carolina’s nine losses have come by 6 points or less this season. That’s how close this team really is to being a playoff contender. However, it has responded by winning two of its last three games overall. That includes a 30-22 win at Philadelphia, and a 30-20 home victory over Atlanta.
While the Chargers have a slight edge on defense, there’s no question that the Panthers are the better offensive team. The Panthers rank a respectable 16th in the league in total offense at 353.7 yards per game, and they are actually outgaining their opponents on the season. The Chargers rank a woeful 27th in total offense at 320.0 yards per game, and they are getting outgained by 15.8 yards per game by their opponents.
Carolina is 46-25 against the spread in its last 71 December games. San Diego is 0-7 against the spread in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons. The Chargers are 1-8 against the spread after playing a game where 50 or more total points were scored over the last 2 seasons.