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Monday Night Prediction, Week 15: Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins 

The Washington Redskins return to a packed house at FedEx Field Monday after three-straight road games against physical teams that were looking to throw their season off-track. Washington bounced back from losses in Dallas and Arizona to earn a much needed divisional win in Philadelphia last week and now they are on the bubble.

Books opened this betting line at -4.5 and it quickly moved to -6.5 points before edging onto -7 during Sunday’s action. Concerns over Cam Newton’s throwing shoulder are one thing driving the bus but an MRI was negative so expect him to start. It’s a primetime spoiler spot for the reigning NFC champs and this team loves the spotlight. 

CAROLINA (5-8) AT WASHINGTON (7-5-1)

Line: Redskins -7 and O/U 50.5

Washington’s latest home game was a 42-24 win over the Packers on Sunday Night Football in Week 11. Green Bay was dealing with a host of injuries on defense at the time and QB Kirk Cousins shredded the secondary for 375 yards. Pierre Garcon (116 yards, 1 TD) and Jamison Crowder 102, 1 TD) were his top gainers but with Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson and Vernon Davis also available, Cousins has plenty to choose from. 

Monday nights haven’t been nearly as kind as that Sunday nighter, with Washington posting a 1-15 SU/ATS home record in the classic primetime slot since 1998. Their only previous MNF game this year was Week 1 against the Steelers, a 38-16 loss. 

Carolina has won the past four-straight games over the Skins including a 33-20 win at FedEx in 2011. Eight of the past 12 meetings between these two have been decided by four points or less. Carolina has been on the either end of a blowout the past two weeks, beating San Diego and losing in Seattle, but before that the Panthers has seen six of seven games decided by exactly three points. 

Both the offense and defense are responsible for the slip in Carolina’s overall record this year. They have really only played around four complete, well balanced games according to our charts and as this season slips into the writeup zone, there are yellow flags waving everywhere. The pointspread and the fact it’s a nationally televised game are what makes the road side attractive here and it looks like most of the injured starters will go.

Luke Kuechly has been cleared from concussion protocol after missing the past three games. Anyone that saw this defensive captain carted away during the Week 11 win over the Saints can realize how important it is to Kuechly and his teammates to get back on the field. WR Kelvin Benjamin (back) is having a letdown year and if he plays, he and Newton will have a chance to try and burn ex-Panther Josh Norman but we’ll be looking for big impacts out of Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart.

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