Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns Pick - Odds and Against the Spread Predictions
The Carolina Panthers will look to end their four-game losing streak on the road against the Cleveland Browns this week. The Panthers are still second in the NFC North behind the New Orleans Saints, but at 6-6 will need a lot to go right to sneak into the playoffs with a wild-card spot. They'll have to figure it out without their starting TE Greg Olsen, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a foot injury. The Browns are 4-7-1 and last in the AFC North, after coming off a 29-13 loss to the Houston Texans.
Cleveland Looking to Bounce Back
It was a rough outing for Baker Mayfield who threw three first-half interceptions. Mayfield played better in the second half and finished with 397 yards, one touchdown, and the three interceptions. Nick Chubb was bottled up by that ferocious Texans defensive-line, finishing with 12 touches for 72 yards and a rushing TD. It was a nice game for Jarvis Landry, who finished with 6 receptions for 103 yards, his first time surpassing the 100-yard mark since Week 3. They could bounce back this week against the Panthers who have been struggling of late.
Carolina Big Time Struggles
We saw the Panthers lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13 24-17. This was just four weeks later from defeating this same Buccaneers team 42-28 in Week 9. Cam Newton was picked off 4 times in this game, 3 of which came from safety Andrew Adams alone. Aside from the turnovers, Newton completed 28-of-41 pass attempts for 300 yards and 2 TDs. Following his phenomenal game in Week 12, Christian McCaffrey had 161 total yards on 19 touches with a rushing TD. McCaffrey should be in store for another productive week against a Browns team that yields the 28thmost rushing yards per game (136.4).
Replacing Greg Olsen will once again be rookie TE Ian Thomas. Olsen finishes the season with 27 receptions, 291 yards and 4 TD's, as the Pro Bowl tight end's season folds once again with an injury. Olsen had been one of the most reliable and durable players in the entire league up until these past two injury-riddled seasons. Ian Thomas on the season has just 16 catches for 133 yards. Perhaps he can finish off his first season in the league with a bang, as the Browns have allowed 8 touchdowns on the season to opposing tight ends.
Panthers Get Back on Track 12/09/2018
The Panthers have announced Ron Rivera will take over defensive play-calling duties. Carolina also fired DL coach Brady Hoke and DB's coach Jeff Imamura. DC Eric Washington will stick around, but he will oversee the defensive front seven with Rivera taking on a more significant role. In the midst of a four-game losing streak and fading out of playoff contention, the Panther's had to try something. While the Browns hold a 3-2-1 home record this season, Sunday against the Texans was the first time Baker Mayfield looked like a rookie QB. The Panthers have struggled on the road this season with a 1-5 record but should come out ahead of the Browns in Week 14.