Point spread: Panthers opened as 3.5-point favorites; the total was 40. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 28.8-17.5 Panthers
Why the Panthers can cover the spread
Carolina is the hottest thing around at the moment, with six straight wins and covers, following Monday night's exciting victory over New England. Cam Newton may get a good portion of the ink, but it's really been the Panthers' defense that's led the way. The 20 points it allowed to the Patriots Monday was the most it had given up since Week 4.
On the road, Carolina has been just as tough on Vegas, going 9-3 ATS over two seasons.
Why the Dolphins can cover the spread
Miami continued playing close games last week, squeaking out a 20-16 victory over San Diego. The victory got the Dolphins back to .500 and into a virtual tie with the Jets for the race to secure the second AFC wild-card spot. Statistically speaking the 'Fins don't impress, but they are 2-0 ATS this season when they've been lined as home dogs.
Odds Shark's predictor computer foresees a Carolina victory and cover in a game that goes OVER on the total. The Panthers are out-rushing foes by almost 40 yards per game this season, while Miami is getting out-rushed by about 35 YPG.
In the NFL, teams that out-rush their opponents cover the spread about 65 percent of the time. Give the points and go with Carolina.
- The Dolphins are 6-2-1 ATS in their past nine home games
- Carolina is on a 6-0 ATS run
- Panthers are 9-3 ATS past 12 road games