DENVER BRONCOS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

A battle between two 4-8 Football teams as the freshly rested Panthers welcome the Denver Broncos.

The Panthers fresh off their bye week and it looks like they will once again be without Christian McCaffrey who when healthy is one of if not the best Running Back in the NFL, you have to wonder how this season would’ve played out had ‘CMC’ been healthy this season as in the three games he’s played in he’s scored two TD’s in each and is arguably the most difficult player in the league to defend in space. Carolina will also be without pass-catcher DJ Moore who won’t return from COVID-19 protocol in time to feature here, which means I expect to see plenty of targets for Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel.

Denver played the World Champion Chiefs close on SNF last week, and they kept themselves in the game off the back of an impressive performance from Melvin Gordon with the Running Back going for over 130 yards and it might be a smart gameplan to lean on him again here against a Panthers run defense which has struggled for most of the season and with Drew Lock struggling for consistency this season I expect the Broncos to implement a run-heavy game plan. The defense has played the pass pretty well all season and kept MVP in waiting, Patrick Mahomes to only one TD pass.

I’m taking the Panthers here. Although I believe this is a pretty close game between two sides who aren’t too dissimilar I just think Carolina have more ways to win, even without two of their more important offensive weapons in McCaffrey and Moore. And it’s the absence of the aforementioned Moore which has given us a U/O total receptions market for Brandon Zylstra. The WR who’s more often used on Special Teams than he is on the offense might get an opportunity with Moore being unavailable, but he has played offensive snaps in 10 of Carolina’s 12 games this season and has only seen 2 targets and 2 receptions (1 target and reception vs New Orleans in week 7 and another target and reception against Kansas City in week 9) and in 17 games where he has played any offensive snaps for the Panthers he’s only managed one game with more than a single reception. So with the U/O being set at 1.5 we think that’s worth a play at 6/5.

PREDICTION: PANTHERS 21 – 20 BRONCOS

BEST BET: Brandon Zylstra UNDER 1.5 receptions – 6/5 with SkyBet. 0.5 point bet.

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