NFL Lock of the Week: Week 16
The season may be over for both of these teams, but one of these squads is still playing quality football. The Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton are still playing with pride and intensity as they wind down the season as the Oakland Raiders are planning for the future.
This is obvious to the sportsbooks who have installed the Panthers as (-9.5) point favorites over the visiting Silver and Black. The Raiders are also in a tough travel spot as they have to travel coast-to-coast for a game that has little meaning for anyone on this team. The Pantehrs do not have anything to play for, but that has not stopped them from putting out quality outings.
In the recent outing the hit the NFL highway and stomped on the San Diego Chargers, another AFC West team that has given up on the season. The Pantehrs beat the Chargers in every facet of the game in a meaningless outing, proving that they have not given up on the season.
The Raiders beat the Chiefs in the last game, but the Chiefs have given up on the season. That is not a good barometer of how poorly the Raiders have played this season. The Raiders are rotating younger players in at all positions to include quarterback so there is a learning curve.
The Raiders are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game, 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game and 19-42-1 ATS against a team with a losing record.
The Panthers are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games in December and will finish strong with a blowout win over Oakland as the NFL Lock of the week.