Washington Football Team vs. Carolina Panthers Week 11 Odds & Predictions

November 21, 1:00 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
WFT +3.5 -120/CAR -3.5 +100

Last week, Cam Newton made his return to the Carolina Panthers in a 34-10 blowout over the NFC leading Arizona Cardinals, who were without QB Kyler Murray. Carolina QB PJ Walker officially got the start against Arizona. Still, Newton's presence was quickly made as he ran for an early touchdown and then threw for another touchdown to help the Panthers gain an early 14-0 lead en route to victory. On Sunday, Newton will make his official return to Bank of America Stadium as the Panthers host the Washington Football Team as 3.5 point favorites.

Last week, Newton had only been with the Panthers for three full days before making his appearance against the Cardinals. With a whole week of preparation and extra time to learn the playbook, Head Coach Matt Rhule has made it clear that Newton will be the starter on Sunday, returning to the spot where he spent nine years as the organizations' best quarterback. While there is some obvious hype around Newton's return, especially from Panthers fans, bettors should not forget that Newton was cut by the Patriots earlier this year in favor of rookie Mac Jones following a 2020 campaign where Newton threw for just eight touchdown passes and ten interceptions.

Washington Football Team vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Analysis

Perhaps lost in the Newton hype is the fact Washington is fresh on the heels of an upset victory over the defending Super Bowl Champions in Tampa Bay. Washington returned from a Week 9 bye and jumped all over the Buccaneers for a 29-19 victory, which ended a four-game losing streak. Despite being riddled with injuries on the defensive side of the football, Washington held the GOAT (aka Tom Brady) to just 220 passing yards on 34 attempts which resulted in two touchdowns and two picks.

Washington's offense has been largely inconsistent this season behind the play of QB Taylor Heinicke but did get some relief last week in the form of turnovers combined with short-field scenarios. The question is can Washington replicate scoring opportunities this week against a solid Carolina defense, especially if the turnovers do not fall in their lap? Purely from a match-up standpoint, I believe both defenses have the upper hand. Combined with Washington's offensive woes, the Panthers' defense is holding opponents to just 19.3 points per game.

If you have followed Washington this season, then you are probably well aware the defense has greatly underperformed compared to expectations. Washington's defense has been hit hard with injuries, and the secondary has been a big liability. The good news for Washington is that this match-up on Sunday is stylistically a positive one. In the waning years of Newton's career, he has not shown the ability to stretch the field to challenge Washington's secondary. Instead of being concerned about the passing attack, Washington will be tasked with stopping the running threat of both Newton and a healthy Christian McCaffrey. Ultimately, Washington has held opponents to just 97 yards per game on the ground, which is the 5th best mark in the NFL, and this plays into their strength on the defensive side of the football.

Based on the match-up and inconsistencies from both offenses this year, I believe we are going to have a really low-scoring affair. The under is currently posted at 43, which is among the lower totals of the week. However, I still see considerable value even below that mark. This match-up has a 20-14, 17-13 type of vibe, whereas many people may be expecting much greater scoring suggested by Carolina's win last week against a dormant offense that was without Kyler Murray. Washington has hit the "under" in four of their last five games, while Carolina has hit the "under" in 10 of their last 13 games. I think the under is the play again and will ride those trends in what I believe will be a very lackluster affair.

Washington at Carolina Predic tion 11/21/21

The trends suggest a low scoring game and I'm going to ride those this week with my O/U pick.

Free Pick: 
Take the UNDER 43