NFL Week 5 Picks: Time For The Underdogs To Take Over

JJ Watt

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-2.5)

Two weeks ago, the Bears escaped MetLife Stadium with a Monday Night Football win over a Jets team who did everything in their power to flirt with victory without ever approaching it. Less than a week later, Chicago was blown out at home by the rival Packers.

The Panthers have quickly turned a 2-0 record to start the season into 2-2 with losses against two AFC North opponents in consecutive weeks (Steelers and Ravens). Carolina is beaten up at the running back position – undrafted Darrin Reaves is currently listed as the team’s starter — and quarterback Cam Newton has yet to score more than one touchdown in a game — passing or rushing.

What makes the Panthers the pick? The Bears. Chicago continues to perform an act of unknown identity, as evident by the aforementioned win in New York prior to the crushing defeat at the hands of the Packers. In addition, the Bears followed up a disappointing loss at home against the Bills with an impressive road victory in San Francisco. Wherever the Bears end up, they aren’t there yet.

The Panthers have lost their two games to superior teams (even the Steelers were one play away from being 3-1), and Chicago has done nothing to warrant such respect. The Panthers hold serve at home, winning by six and covering the spread.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola