NFL picks and predictions, Browns vs. Panthers 2014: Experts favor Carolina against Johnny Manziel

The Panthers have their season on the line with Johnny Football coming to town. Can the rookie pull off his first win of the season as a starter in hostile territory?

The Carolina Panthers will host Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns with their playoff hopes still intact. They must win and get some help in order to secure a spot in the postseason as the playoff picture begins to take shape in Week 16. The Browns (7-7) are all but eliminated from playoff contention, though they’ll still be fighting for a win with their rookie signal caller at the helm.

There’s plenty at stake for the Panthers (5-8-1), who are just a half-game behind the New Orleans Saints for the top spot in the NFC South. The good news for Carolina is it may have Cam Newton back after he missed one game due to a back injury sustained in a car accident prior to Week 15. Newton has practiced this week and appears on track to start.

The momentum is in the Panthers’ favor as they come into the game winners of two straight. The Browns, on the other hand, have lost three in a row, including a 30-0 shutout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week in Manziel’s first career start. According to OddsShark, the Panthers are 3-point favorites and the over/under is set at 40.5. Even with such a narrow margin, the experts were lopsided in their predictions.

At CBS Sports, only one of eight panelists chose the Browns. ESPN’s 13-member committee also went big on the home team, picking the Panthers by a 12-1 margin.

Here at SB Nation, though, our experts went against the grain, split 4-4 down the middle.

Ryan Van Bibber Stephen White Joel Thorman David Fucillo Danny Kelly PFT Commenter Matt Ufford OddsShark Computer
December 19, 2014 by : Posted in Uncategorized No Comments

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