Ravens-Panthers Betting Preview: Will Cam Newton Work His Magic Again?

Ravens-Panthers Betting Preview: Will Cam Newton Work His Magic Again? article feature image

Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1).

Betting odds: Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers

  • Spread: Ravens -3
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: Only 43% of bettors are backing the Ravens on the road, but Baltimore has still moved from a pick ’em to -3 thanks to getting 62% of money wagered.

And while the under has drawn 83% of dollars on 48% of bets, this total has yet to make much of a move from its opening number of 43.5 (find live betting data here). — Danny Donahue

Trends to know: The Ravens are allowing 14.4 points per game this season, fewest in the NFL by more than three points. In Cam Newton’s career, he has faced a defense in October or later allowing fewer than 17 ppg five times.

According to our Bet Labs data, the Panthers are 4-1 against the spread in those five games, but more importantly, Carolina has averaged 25 points. — Evan Abrams

The Ravens are coming off a home loss against the Saints last weekend and many may think Baltimore is a good bet to bounce back.

But over the past five seasons, Joe Flacco is just 1-4-2 ATS the game after a home loss and in Flacco’s career he is just 7-9-2 ATS, including 5-7-1 ATS on the road, coming off a home loss. — Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Ravens defense vs. Panthers running backs

The Panthers love to throw to their running back. The Cam-to-Christian connection is the oil that makes that offense run. Running back Christian McCaffrey averages nearly seven catches and 50 yards per game this season.

Well, don’t expect a smooth ride against a Ravens defense that has been downright stingy against running backs in the passing game.

In the past three weeks, Alvin Kamara, Dion Lewis and Duke Johnson each had yardage totals less than one-sixth what they averaged in their other games this season. Those three combined for five catches and 23 yards over those three games.

Running backs have averaged 2.7 catches for fewer than 15 yards per game against the Ravens this season. — Stuckey

Which team is healthier? Panthers

Left guard Alex Lewis (neck), right tackle James Hurst (back) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (thigh) are the only Ravens starters at risk of missing Sunday’s matchup against the Panthers, who are fairly healthy, as well.

Newton (right shoulder) and Greg Olsen (foot) are fully expected to suit up Sunday despite practicing in a limited fashion on Wednesday and Thursday, while safety Rashaan Gaulden (ankle), receiver Torrey Smith (knee) and defensive end Mario Addison (back) should be considered questionable.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: The only opposing quarterbacks not to score at least 20 points against the Panthers are Alex Smith and Dak Prescott, while Odell Beckham Jr. (35.4), Tyler Boyd (28.7) and Alshon Jeffery (21.8) have torched the secondary.

Exposure to the Ravens’ receivers on DraftKings should probably be focused on Michael Crabtree, who boasts an impressive +3.6 Projected Plus/Minus and an 87% Bargain Rating in our FantasyLabs Models.

He’ll likely see plenty of No. 1 cornerback James Bradberry, who has understandably struggled against Julio Jones (5-64-0), A.J. Green (5-58-0), Odell Beckham Jr. (8-131-1), Josh Doctson (3-20-0) and Alshon Jeffery (7-88-1) in shadow matchups this season. — Hartitz

Bet to watch: Ravens -2

After suffering through betting against my Ravens live in Cleveland (which turned out to be a winner) and watching Justin Tucker miss an extra point for the first time in his career (with a bunch of Saints fans nearby) and cost the Ravens a shot at the win, I can now back Baltimore for the first time since it played the Steelers.

This is an outstanding matchup for the Ravens defense across the board:

  • The Panthers have subpar receivers and the Ravens have the corner depth to match up with both their physicality and speed, which is why the Ravens allow a league-best 5.5 yards per pass.
  • If the Baltimore defense has one vulnerability, it’s deep passes. Fortunately, the Panthers rank 25th in yards per pass and the Ravens’ pressure (league-leading 27 sacks) likely won’t give Cam much time to throw. Baltimore’s safeties can be fully utilized to stop the running game and short passing attack.
  • The Panthers lead the NFL in yards per rush, but they do almost all of their damage up the gut or to the right. The Ravens’ run defense just happens to excel at stopping the run in those two areas, while struggling on the left side.

On the other side of the ball, the Ravens have struggled to run the ball (their 3.4 yards per rush ranks second worst), but that won’t hurt as much against a Carolina defense that excels at stopping the run.

Baltimore’s offensive line does, however, excel in pass blocking (fourth in adjusted sack rate), which means Flacco should have enough time to allow his efficient route runners to get open against the Panther’s 26th-ranked DVOA pass defense. — Stuckey

Bet to watch: Ravens-Panthers Under 44

Since the Ravens opened the season with two straight overs — a 47-3 win where they reached the total by themselves and a 34-23 road loss to the Bengals — they’re on a five-game under streak, including games vs. Pittsburgh and New Orleans.

The Panthers will be one of the slowest-paced teams the Ravens have faced, operating at a pace that ranks 26th in neutral situations and 30th in the first half of games.

While the over is 3-3 in Panthers games this season, all three of those overs have come against teams that rank in the bottom six in defensive DVOA. — Raybon

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.