Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-0)
The Panthers are 5-0 and rank 5th in rate of moving the chains differential, but they’re only favored by 35 points here. That’s reasonable though, considering the Eagles rank 7th in rate of moving the chains differential and considering the Eagles are in a great spot, coming off of a 20 point win on Monday Night Football over the Giants last week. That momentum tends to carry over, as teams historically cover at about 65% rate off of a MNF win of 20 of more. The Eagles have major issues on offense, but one of the best defenses in the whole NFL.
The Eagles defense has played well, despite missing middle linebackers Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso for an extended period of time with injury. DeMeco Ryans and rookie Jordan Hicks have played very well their absence. Ryans is expected to be out this week, but Kendricks returns to play opposite Hicks, who is an early defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. The Eagles are also going to be missing wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Riley Cooper in this one, but they’re not playing well, so that doesn’t really hurt much. The Panthers, meanwhile, essentially have no injuries, with stud middle linebacker Luke Kuechly going into his 2nd game back, after missing 3 games with a concussion early in the season. This is one of the toughest games of the week for me to predict, but I’m going to fade a heavy public lean on Carolina and take the underdog, as long as the line is higher than 3.
Carolina Panthers 23 Philadelphia Eagles 20
Pick against spread: Philadelphia +3.5