There are two week nine NFL games in this 2015 season that feature interesting quarterback face-offs. In one, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers faces Cam Newton and his Panthers. Rodgers is one of the most proficient passers in the league while Newton can very inconsistent but his ability to run often keeps the team in the game.
In the other game, Peyton Manning and his 7-0 Broncos visit Manning’s former team, the Colts, who are now helmed by Andrew Luck. Manning, who seems to be showing some very clear signs of wear and tear, has the best defense in the league, while Luck, who is now in his fourth year, continues to be very inconsistent as he has led the team to a 3-5 mark thus far in 2015.
Green Bay at Carolina
Green Bay is headed into Carolina this Sunday as 2.5 to 3.0-point favorites. This makes total sense, especially when you weigh both offenses. Rodgers brings much better numbers than Newton. But here’s the skinny on these teams. Green Bay’s defense has been playing poorly over the past two games.
Last week, they ran into the Bronco D and paid dearly losing 29-10. In the last two weeks, the Packer defense as allowed a total of over 1,000 yards and given up 49 points. That 49 points equals 24.5 PPG, while overall their defense has been allowing just 18.6 PPG.
At the same time, Carolina, which still has a perfect record, may not be led by the best passing quarterback in the league, but they do bring the finest rushing offense to the field. The Panthers have been averaging a league leading 144 YPG on the ground. That powerful ground attack, which includes broken-play runs by Newton that often frustrate and tire out opponent defenses, will be tough to stop. Plus, Carolina is allowing only 19.4 PPG.
Yes, the Pack is favored and people are going with them, especially with such a small spread. But Green Bay’s rush defense is weak and although they do a good job bringing down QBs behind the line of scrimmage, Newton can be very elusive. Plus, overall, the Panthers have a better defense, especially when it comes to pass defense and take aways, including forced and recovered fumbles.
We are taking the Panthers at plus three points. The over/under is at 45.5. The over is the way to go in this game.
Denver at Indianapolis
In this matchup between two horses of different colors, the Broncos and the Colts, Denver is favored by five points. They should be, simply by the fact that they have the stingiest defense in the league. The Broncos are allowing opponents just 16 PPG. They kept the Pack to just 10 points last week, and have held four of seven opponents to 13 of fewer points. They Denver D has posted an astounding 29 sacks and 16 forced fumbles with eight having been recovered. Denver also has nine picks and 30 passes defended.
That means that Andrew Luck will be seeing a lot come his way when he meets that Bronco defense on Sunday. The problem for the Colts is they lack a running game and that means a lot falls on the quarterback’s shoulders. The other dilemma for Indy is its defense, which has a hard time stopping teams over the course of four quarters.
We like Denver in this one at minus five points. We are betting on the under at 45.5. It looks like Denver will put a good 27 points on the board in this game, but we expect Indianapolis to only score about 12. This will be a very interesting live betting opportunity for those who like to wager on defenses that can change on-field situations in a matter of seconds.