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Cam Newton and Andrew Luck’s first NFL meeting has created a compelling Monday Night Football betting matchup.
Newton and the Carolina Panthers are listed as 6.5-point favorites against Luck and the Colts at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Panthers lead the NFC South with a 6-0 record but have yet to defeat a team that is above .500.
Carolina, 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread, make their living off a disruptive play-happy defense led by OLB Thomas Davis, ILB Luke Kuechley and shutdown CB Josh Norman, while dual-threat QB Newton does enough to keep the offense running in place.
With WR Phillip Dorsett out of action for the Colts, Carolina has a favorable matchup. They are coming off consecutive ATS wins and are 7-3 SU in the next game after that occurs. When Carolina has the ball, something will have to give in a matchup between a sporadic Panthers offense and low-ranked Colts defense.
Newton and RB Jonathan Stewart’s efficiency at power runs might help Carolina win the day.
The Colts, whose record of 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS is good for first in the anemic AFC South, are a ragged yet resilient bunch that are 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after losing as a favorite.
The Colts are also 14-5 SU in their last 19 games after a loss. Whether it’s Luck’s tendencies or pass protection problems, the Colts have struggled to distribute the ball to their main pass catchers, and they will be facing a team that has 18 sacks and a superb secondary composed of Norman, CB Charles Tillman, FS Kurt Coleman and SS Roman Harper.
Carolina is not as stout against the run as it is against the pass. It will be in Indianapolis’ interest to get RB Frank Gore and Ahmad Bradshaw established early and force the Panthers to adjust accordingly.
The total for Monday night’s Colts vs. Panthers betting matchup is set at 46.5 points at the sportsbooks. The total has gone UNDER in Indianapolis’ last six road games. The total has also gone UNDER in seven of Carolina’s last nine home games.
The OddsShark Computer is projecting a 28.3-17.3 Panthers victory, indicating that Newton and cohorts will pile on to Indianapolis’ woes.