4. Take the Panthers -3 against the Bengals
The Panthers really missed an opportunity to score a big win at Atlanta last week. Expect Carolina to be really motivated to play well in front of the home crowd against the Bengals. Three points just isn’t enough to support Cincinnati in this one.
Don’t underestimate just how much the Bengals offense is going to miss Joe Mixon. He’s been huge for them in their opening two games. Andy Dalton is going to miss handing him the ball in the backfield and throwing to him out in the flat. His knee injury is a big deal for this team.
Carolina’s defense is really going to want to atone for giving up over 100 yards to Tevin Coleman last week. That’d bad new for Giovani Bernard. He’s not going to have much room at all to run against the Panthers’ talented front seven.
One thing that isn’t getting a ton of press is the job that James Bradberry did on Julio Jones last week. He didn’t shut the Falcons’ ace down, but he made him look human. Look for Bradberry to keep A.J. Green from going off this week.
This game will be close heading into the fourth quarter, but Newton has a significant advantage over Dalton. Count on the Panthers to make enough plays to win this by a touchdown.