The Carolina Panthers travel to Miami today with a six game winning streak going. The last two have come in dramatic fashion against fellow playoff hopefuls San Francisco and New England. It’s amazing how much better of a leader Cam Newton has become with a dominant defense, as Carolina ranks first in scoring defense. It is a lesson that Robert Griffin III would be wise to learn as well.
Miami, meanwhile, is still right in the middle of the AFC wildcard mess. After the victory at home over the Chargers, they are now tied with the Jets at 5-5 (and they will play each other twice in the last month).
The major mismatch here is Carolina’s front against Miami’s beat up line. If Miami is to have any chance they must get some protection for Ryan Tannehill. They catch a bit of break as Charles Johnson is likely not going to play. The rest of the Panthers up front–Greg Hardy, Star Lotulelei, Luke Kuechly and company–are still a mismatch.
Carolina (-5) at Miami. Road favorite, non-conference, after a big stretch. I like a low scoring game here. Panthers 17, Dolphins 13.
Here are my picks for the other games.
1 P.M. GAMES
Minnesota (+5.5) at Green Bay (Packers by 7)
San Diego (+4) at Kansas City (Chiefs by 1)
NY Jets (+4) at Baltimore (Jets by 3)
Pittsburgh (+1) at Cleveland (Steelers by 6)
Tampa Bay (+8) at Detroit (Lions by 13)
Jacksonville (+10) at Houston (Texans by 14)
Chicago (+1.5) at St. Louis (Bears by 3)
4 P.M. GAMES
Tennessee (-1.5) at Oakland (Titans by 8)
Indianapolis (+3) at Arizona (Cardinals by 7)
Dallas (+2.5) at NY Giants (Cowboys by 3)
Denver (-2.5) at New England (Patriots by 2)
San Francisco (-6) at Washington (49ers by 3)