Tuesday, November 22, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts (Week 12, 2011-12)

The early spread on this game is Panthers (-3.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of November 22, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week. Please note that ATS means “Against the spread.”

*My* Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Picks Only)
Indianapolis Colts 8-2
Carolina Panthers 8-2

Key Injuries
TE Jeremy Shockey, LB Dan Connor, TE Dallas Clark (Out), QB Peyton Manning (Out), RB Joseph Addai

Keys to the Game
  • Can the Panthers contain Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney?
  • Will Cam Newton avoid interceptions? How will he respond to a cover-2 defense?
  • Can the Colts contain Steve Smith?
  • The Colts have had two weeks of rest and preparation for this contest.
  • Weaknesses collide: Panthers’ defense vs. Colts’ offense

Summary
The Colts and Panthers have combined for two victories in 11 weeks. The biggest difference between these teams is that the Panthers have Cam Newton while the Colts have Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter.

One of the Panthers’ victories occurred against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. This was in Blaine Gabbert’s NFL debut as a starting quarterback. The Colts are about that abysmal but without a stingy defense. However, they do have pass rushers who may cause problems for the Panthers’ offensive line. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis could take advantage of an offensive line that recently put offensive tackle Jeff Otah on injured reserve.

The key for the Colts will be to capitalize on fumbles and interceptions from Newton. They’d also benefit from a “Bend but don’t break” defense. With that said, I just think the Panthers have too much offensive firepower. I’m taking the better team over home-field advantage.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Straight: Carolina Panthers 28, Indianapolis Colts 21

Stat sources:

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