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NFL Free Divisional Playoffs Pick: Carolina vs. Seattle Betting Lines & Preview

Panthers vs Seahawks Free Pick

NFL Divisional Playoff action sees the Carolina Panthers taking on the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, January 10 at CenturyLink Field. Cappers Picks provides free *NFL*handicapping tips all season long.

The Seattle Seahawks will begin their quest for a rare Super Bowl repeat this weekend when they take on the resurgent Carolina Panthers.

NFL Divisional Playoff Betting Lines

Carolina (8-8-1) at Seattle (12-4)
When: 8:15 PM ET, Saturday, January 10, 2015
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
Broadcast: FOX
Panthers NFL Betting Odds: +10½ -110 +415
Seahawks NFL Betting Odds: -10½ -110 -510
NFL Over/Under Betting Odds: 40 -115
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The Panthers are winners of five straight games – including a 27-16 win against Arizona on Wild Card Weekend.

These two teams have a knack of playing very close low scoring games – the Panthers have lost the last three meetings between the clubs – by four points on two occasions and by five points the other.

Can the Panthers keep their present roll going or will they be a speed bump on Seattle’s march to another crown?

Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have become who we thought they’d be – a solid running team with a very good defense and a game changing quarterback. All of those attributes had been lacking most of the season. But Jonathan Stewart has found another gear, the defense had a historically good week in the Wild Card round and Cam Newton seems healthy and to be having fun playing football again.

The Panthers are a dangerous team indeed – as Hot and as confident a team as there is in the NFL right now.

Carolina’s identity is its defense – a unit that had been one of the leakiest, most disappointing in the NFL before their recent five game win streak. The Panthers have allowed just 59 total points in their last five games and 32 combined points in their last three – they have allowed just 87.4 yards on the ground during their five game win streak – a good sign with Marshawn Lynch on the horizon.

They held Arizona to a stunning 78 total yards last week – an NFL playoff record. Impressive indeed until we dig a little deeper – last week’s win came against Ryan Lindley, a fourth string QB and the four wins to close out the season were against teams with a combined 33-47 record.

This defense has held Seattle to an average of just over 13 points per game in the last three matchups and will have to do so again for Carolina to keep this game close.

Now for the running game! The Panthers have rushed for 271, 123, 209, 194 and 188 yards the last four weeks – Cam Newton has done his part but Jonathan Stewart has become the rock that this team has craved out of the backfield for years. Stewart is coming off a 123 yards, 1 TD performance against another top defense Arizona and should be ridden hard in this game as well.

The Panthers have to hope to lean on the running game despite Seattle’s defense only giving up 3.4 yards per rush this season.

Now for Cam Newton who has shrugged off a car wreck and zero support from his team and has turned his season around. Newton is a threat to run the ball and to throw to a surprisingly effective set of receivers.

That said Cam has had his issues with Seattle – he has thrown just one TD combined in three games, has an average of just 145.6 yards passing and has guided his team to an average of 9.3 points per game in the last three meetings.

Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks are on some kind of roll aren’t they? To say that the Hawks are peaking at precisely the right time is an understatement to say the least – their defense has been insane lately, their offense has played well and the extra week of rest will do nothing but help the Super Bowl favorites.

Seattle has allowed just three touchdowns and 39 points and an average of 202 yards against per contest in the past six games and now get to face a Carolina team that has had ZERO success against them the last couple of years. Seattle finished the season #1 in total defense – they ranked first in total yards allowed at 267.1 and points per game at 15.9 in the regular season.

Translation – it will be awfully tough to score on this team especially with the 12th man threatening to make things miserable for the Panthers.

The Hawks will attack the Panthers resurgent defense with the #1 ranked running game in the league. Marshawn Lynch produced yet another 1000+ yard rushing season – he has been especially dominant on home turf.

Lynch and the running game haven’t matched up well with Carolina in the past however – Lynch went for just 62 yards in the first meeting of the season. Seattle will ride their running backs for sure – it will be up to them to figure out this Carolina defense.

Russell Wilson’s play will likely be the difference between winning and losing on Saturday.

He owns a 3-0 career record versus Carolina and has averaged 246 yards per game in those contests – he has three TDs over that span but has three interceptions as well. Where Wilson could shine is with his legs – he had 849 yards rushing this season with 6 TDs and had success on the ground versus Carolina in October.

Wilson makes the Hawks awfully tough to defend – like no team the Panthers have faced during their win streak.

NFL Divisional Playoffs Betting Trends

• Over is 8-2 in CAR last 10 Sat. games.
• CAR are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 Sat. games.
• Under is 14-6 in CAR last 20 vs. NFC.
• SEA are 36-14-1 ATS in their last 51 vs. NFC.
• Under is 7-3 in SEA last 10 Sat. games.
• Over is 7-3 in SEA last 10 playoff games.

Every time that I came up with an impressive fact about Carolina’s game it was followed with a… BUT… Seattle is just too tough a team in every aspect of the game to be denied in this one – particularly at CenturyLink where they have lost just twice in the last two years.

4* FREE NFL Divisional Playoff Betting Prediction

These two teams have a history of very close, low scoring games – expect that trend to continue this week.

Panthers to cover the 10 1/2

Seattle wins but Carolina covers the almost-ridiculous 10 1/2 point spread.

Check out our Updated NFL Divisional Round Odds.



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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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