Darren’s Dimes for NFL Week 8: Can the Panthers Upset the 49ers?
It seems as though this NFL season is going to be a sort of rollercoaster ride. One week I can’t seem to properly peg a single game and then the next it appears I know my stuff. If that rollercoaster of a ride is to continue, then you can expect some good picks going into Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season.
Last week, the Dallas Cowboys continued to be a thorn in my side (it has been a running trend this season), my most confident pick of the Houston Texans was a dud and the Detroit Lions simply couldn’t keep the game close enough at the end of a very hard fought match-up against the Minnesota Vikings. This week, I look at the Arizona Cardinals/New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers/San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers/Kansas City Chiefs games.
The Arizona Cardinals Should Lose To The New Orleans Saints, But Not By 10 Points
I really don’t want to bet against the Saints. They have looked close to unstoppable this season and may be the surest bet to win this coming weekend. However, giving up 9.5 points is a lot. Besides their one loss this season, the Saints have won five out of its six victories by seven points or less.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are coming into New Orleans with their own hot streak. The team has won three games in a row (albeit against weak franchises – the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants), including two on the road. Again, I do not see the Cardinals winning this game against the Saints, but I do like them keeping it within nine points.
If You’re Bold, Then Take Carolina Moneyline. Otherwise, They’re A Good Bet With 5.5 Points
I also like the Panthers, as a 5.5 point underdog to at least cover the spread against the 49ers. In fact, I think the Panthers are a sneakily strong team that could provide the 49ers their first loss of the season. The Panthers have won four straight games, including against the Cardinals (their last loss), Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. None of those teams are the very cream of the crop, but they are each respectable opponents. The Panthers come into the game 2nd in the AFC South, only behind the formidable Saints.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are obviously undefeated. Their defense is a real force, but the 49ers’ offense leaves quite a bit to be desired. Despite beating the Washington Redskins (a very bad team), the 49ers failed to score single touchdown. Surely, weather conditions played a role, but I think Carolina’s defense will also serve to frustrate the 49ers offense. Further, the 49ers don’t have the best home field advantage in the league. This could easily be the 1st loss for the 49ers this season.
I Have Faith In Matt Moore And The New-Look Kansas City Chiefs Offense
If you’re a fan of a lot of points, the Packers and Chiefs should bring you what you crave. In the last four weeks, the Packers have put up 42 points, 23 points and two games of 34 points. Meanwhile, it’s a rare occurrence when the Chiefs don’t at least score 28 points in a game. Their top score this season was Week 1, with 40 against the Jaguars.
The Chiefs had a couple of tough losses against the Texans and the Indianapolis Colts, but bounced back last week to handily beat the Denver Broncos by a score of 30-6. Meanwhile, despite injuries to their receivers, the Packers have been on a roll, winning their last three games, with their last loss coming against the Eagles by a score of 34-27.
The spread means a lot to me with this game. The Chiefs are at home, yet they are receiving four points. Remember, though, that their MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes will not be playing in this game and that the Chiefs have a very suspect defense. That said, Matt Moore has a week to prepare for this important Sunday Night Football matchup, and I’m going to go with the home team to cover.
Darren Heitner is the Founder of HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C., where he serves as legal counsel to some of the most successful athletes, sports agents and other individuals and companies. He is the founder of Sports Agent Blog, a niche publication that covers the entirety of the sports agency industry. Darren contributed to Forbes for 6 years and Inc. Magazine for 4 years, covering the business of sports. He wrote published 2 sports law treatises published by the American Bar Association.