The Patriots almost never lose coming off a bye week. The extra time to prepare is just too valuable for Bill Belichick. Even so, the Patriots are underdogs heading into their Monday night matchup in Carolina.
The Panthers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning five straight games entering Week 11 and coming off a gutsy win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. The Patriots (7-2) hold a better record than the Panthers (6-3) this season, but Carolina’s momentum and solid home record (3-1 this season) apparently gives them the edge in primetime showdown.
The Panthers open the week as one-point (-1) favorites against the Patriots, according to Bovada. Carolina was a “unanimous” favorite for the game this week, according to Peter Korner, founder of Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club. Korner also noted that the betting line could get as high as three points (-3) in Carolina’s favor before Monday.
“We were all unanimous about Carolina being the favorite,” says Korner. “I think Carolina wins here. They bring a lot of momentum into it. New England is rested but just doesn’t have the same quality of receivers, outside of [Rob] Gronkowski. This could easily go to -3.”
The Patriots are 10-3 coming off a bye week under Belichick and have won nine of their last 10 post-bye week games. The Patriots are also 3-2 against the Panthers all time, including a win in Super Bowl XXXVIII. They won the two teams last meeting 20-10 in Carolina in 2009.