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Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders Week 12 Over / Under Bets

Carolina Panthers(4-6) @ Oakland Raiders(8-2)

  • Where: Oakland Coliseum. Oakland, CA
  • When: November 27, 2016 4:25 pm EST
  • Spread: Panthers (+4.5) at Raiders (-4.5)
  • Moneyline: Panthers +171 - Raiders -204
  • Over / Under: Over 49.5 (-110) Under 49.5 (-110)

The defending NFC champion is traveling to visit a traditional doormat. One team is 8-2 and leading their division, the other is 4-6 and in danger of slipping out of any contention for a playoff berth.

Wow, the champs are having another great year, eh? No. Actually, it’s the perennial loser who has shot to the top. The Raiders have not won more than 8 games in a season since 2002, but need merely 1 more win to surpass that total in 2016-17.

Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers began the year 1-5 with a series of excruciating losses. Head coach Ron Rivera has been embattled by controversy, appearing to shift blame onto his players after some dubious in-game decisions that contributed to the team’s poor start – and should give gamblers pause based on Carolina’s newfound knack for blowing close games with unforced errors.

In Week 1, the Panthers were leading the Broncos 17-14 with 11:29 left in the 4th quarter,  when Denver QB Trevor Siemien completed a pass just over the 2 yard line. But an official placed the ball at the 1 and signaled for a Denver 1st down. Instead of simply challenging the call, Rivera called time-out. Then, after a few moments, he challenged the call successfully, which meant that the Panthers could have saved the time-out and still prevented the 1st down. Later, the team ran out of time-outs while trying to drive for the winning points.

In a Week 3 loss to the Vikings, Rivera made the dubious decision to call a pass play out of his own end zone against a Minnesota rush that was dominating the contest. QB Cam Newton was sacked for a safety, and went down in the backfield 6 more times as the Panthers lost 22-10.

The Carolina Cats stopped the bleeding with 3 wins in their most recent 4 games. But 2 factors are working against them – injuries and a slap-leather schedule. The Panthers must play the AFC West-leading Raiders on the road, followed by another trip to visit the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly suffered a potentially career-ending concussion in last week’s 23-20 win over the Saints, described as a “Pyrrhic victory” by the Charlotte media. Carolina DE Mario Addison finished the game on the sideline on a pair of crutches.

The Raiders are not a dominant team with a big margin of error, but enjoy the momentum after a dramatic 27-20 win over the Texans on Monday night. Derek Carr passed for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Silver & Black’s 4th victory in a row.

Bovada Sportsbook has the Raiders a money line favorite at -204 with an over/under of 49.5.

The Raiders – Skull, Crossbones and a Good OL

Excellent young QB Derek Carr was pressured on merely 2 of 31 drop-backs on Monday night, superb blocking stats for what has been a resurgent and consistently effective offense in 2016-17. Unlike the downfield passing attack of legendary Oakland signal-callers of yore, Carr likes to target running backs for easy 1st downs – not a bad policy in an era where ball control is the only true defense against prolific-scoring opponents.

The Raiders do not have a dominant defense or a featured RB, but the “backfield committee” of Murray, Washington and Richard have combined for over 1000 rushing yards on the season and a healthy team average of 4.6 YPC.

Can Panthers Claw Their Way Back?

Carolina took the league by storm in 2015 with a deadly triple-option offense featuring the duel-threat of Newton. But the popular QB has been battered in 2016, leading coaches to severely limit his designed runs.

Panther RBs are not picking up the slack.  Jonathan Stewart and company combined for just 50 yards on 27 carries against the Saints. That follows meager tallies of 99 team rushing yards against the Chiefs and an abysmal 59 vs. Los Angeles.

A decimated defense may not be able to pick up the slack. In addition to the injuries in the front-7, safety Colin Jones also suffered a concussion last week and will likely miss Sunday’s game against the surging Raiders.

Oakland is a Solid Play

An interesting stat is that in 6 of the Raiders’ last 7 games, the total has gone over the O/U, but Panthers’ contests have landed under the mark in 4 of 6. Which trend will win out? Likely the over, as Oakland is at home and should be able to get Carr into a rhythm early and put up points in the 1st half.

But a safer play is on the hosts to win. The current potential-upset prognostication from gambling sites has more to do with Carolina’s status as defending conference champs than anything happening on the field.

Yes, the Panthers beat an average Saints team on Sunday. But they stand at 4-6, are facing a hot opponent 3 time-zones away, and crushing injuries have given the locker room a somber vibe despite recent victories.

Take the Raiders to win at the Bovada Sportsbook.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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