NFL betting tips: Free betting tips and odds for Thursday night - Philadelphia at Carolina

Carolina get the vote in Charlotte this week
Carolina get the vote in Charlotte this week

David John says Carolina can give up a start of a field goal in the NFL on Thursday night at home to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia at Carolina (Friday, 0125 BST, Sky Sports Action and Main Event)

Thursday Night Football can be a bit iffy at times but this week’s fixture has the potential for something much better with the Eagles and the Panthers on a roll.

They both boast a healthy 4-1 record and we should have a clearer idea of how strong their respective challenges will be in the NFC this season come Friday morning.

Carolina are favoured by a field goal as they return to Charlotte following impressive back-to-back road victories over pretty useful rivals in New England and Detroit.

Quarterback Cam Newton, who endured a torrid 2016 campaign due to niggling injuries and a general lack of form, is playing at an MVP level currently much more akin to his stellar efforts that helped propel his team to a Super Bowl appearance 18 months ago.

His stats over the last fortnight have seen him complete 48 of 62 pass attempts for 671 yards with seven touchdowns and just one turnover for a rating on the happy side of 130 - elite football indeed.

Newton regaining his swagger has been a big boost for those around him who all look up to his natural leadership to guide the way and the former Heisman Trophy winner will be very tough to stop if continuing in this sort of mood despite the unavoidable short week of preparation.

Carolina host Philadelphia on Thursday night
Carolina host Philadelphia on Thursday night

Philadelphia stand in their way and have a rising star of their own at quarterback in sophomore Carson Wentz.

He certainly caused a few ripples in the early stages of his rookie campaign before he and his team collapsed in the second half of 2016 but another summer’s training camp under his belt in head coach Doug Pederson’s system has seen him really hit the ground running.

"I feel good. The game is continually slowing down for me," Wentz said after last week’s 34-7 demolition of Arizona which saw him throw four touchdown passes and show an increased understanding when it came to avoiding both pressure and the blitz.

There is still a horror throw or two mixed in that a very good Carolina defense will punish with glee while the very real prospect that outstanding right tackle Lane Johnson will miss this game with a concussion is a serious worry for both Wentz and a productive LeGarette Blount in the Philadelphia running game.

The Eagles have come as close as anyone to toppling a fast-starting Kansas City although it can't be overlooked all four victories to date have been against teams with losing records (5-14 combined). That said, we can certainly start to take them very seriously if they head home with another ‘W’ here.

It is the hosts I prefer though giving up a start as Wentz’s performances without Johnson on the offensive line have thus far tended to take a turn for the worse and this could develop into a similar situation against a very aggressive defensive unit.

Prediction: Philadelphia 17-26 Carolina

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Recommended bet

2pts Carolina (-3) to beat Philadelphia at 5/6

Posted at 1235 BST on 11/10/17.

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