Betting.Betfair

Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions: Remember the name Christian McCaffrey

Can Cam Newton put his bad week behind him with a stellar performance in Detroit?
Join today View market

Two 3-1 teams face each other in the early window on Sky this week and Neil Monnery is here to bring us his thoughts on the game...

"One player I want to mark out is rookie RB Christian McCaffrey. Even though he's yet to score a TD, he has changed the way teams are defending against the Panthers. You have to respect his speed both from the backfield and lining up as a receiver."

Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions
Start-time: Sunday 8 October, 18:00 BST
Live Sky Sports Action


For the Lions...


They might be 3-1 (and should be 4-0) but that offensive line needs to protect Matthew Stafford. The QB was sacked six times last week. Even when they had a numbers advantage, the Vikings were able to get him on the ground. This is something the Lions have to address sooner rather than later.

As for Stafford's play, seven TDs to only one interception so far this season is a testament to his grittiness. The former number one overall pick has become one of the better players in his position in the game. If he is given time in the pocket, he can make all the throws.

In the passing game, Detroit do have some issues. Golden Tate is a good number two option but when he's the top guy, the receiving corps looks a little lacking.

What I do like is how the front four play on defense. They get lots of backfield penetration and that will cause issues for Cam Newton and Co.


For the Panthers...


Speaking of the Carolina QB, it has not been a good week for the former MVP. After making some quite ridiculous comments about a female reporter, he's been forced to apologise and has lost a lucrative sponsorship deal.

Without knowing his state of mind, it is tough to predict how that might affect him on the field of play. If he's fine though, he's coming off a 316 yard passing day and was responsible for four scores in that 33-30 win in New England last Sunday. Very impressive.

One player I want to mark out is rookie RB Christian McCaffrey. Even though he's yet to score a TD, he has changed the way teams are defending against the Panthers. You have to respect his speed both from the backfield and lining up as a receiver. He's getting more confident with each week and I see this as a potential breakout game for him.

Like the Lions, Carolina's front four are looking fantastic and getting pressure on opposing Quarterbacks. This lends itself to an under pick.


The Picks...


This is a really good game and the Panthers are being spotted 2.5pts on the spread. As I'm predicting a breakout game for McCaffrey, I think I'm going to go with the Panthers at [2.26] for the straight-up road upset.

Points-wise the line is at 42.5 and as I indicated earlier, the under is where I'm headed. I just think both defenses will be on top for large chunks of this game. This is available at [1.87] on the Exchange.

The first TD market isn't available at the time of writing but all my eggs are in the Christian McCaffrey basket and I'd expect him to be around 12/1 to score first. If you can get that or longer when that market opens up, that is worth a small play. I tipped Doug Martin at 14/1 in this market on Thursday and he came up trumps.


Recommended Bets

3pt Back Carolina to win straight up at [2.26] on the Exchange
2pt Back under 42.5pts at [1.87] on the Exchange
1pt Back Christian McCaffrey to score the first TD at 12/1 or longer on the Sportsbook

Join today View market
More NFL