3 bold predictions in Week 9 for the Carolina Panthers at the Chiefs

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

The Carolina Panthers will cover the spread.

Playing in one of the NFL’s harshest environments, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the Carolina Panthers are 10.5-point underdogs against the reigning Super Bowl champions. It’s not hard to figure out why oddsmakers are predicting a blowout, especially considering the revolving door of players on defense.

However, this margin may be way too wide if you consider the way the Panthers have played this year.

Through eight weeks the record of the Panthers opponents is 29-23 and they’ve only lost by more than a touchdown once. While the talent deficiency has been stark in some matchups, this team is playing with heart, and Matt Rhule is giving his coordinators ownership of play-calling, which is appreciated in the locker room.

Overall, Carolina isn’t your typical “bad” football team.

Fortunately for the Panthers, there are viable reasons why they could keep the game close. Perhaps most important is that they’ll have Christian McCaffrey in the backfield.

This will be key considering Kansas City’s weakest link is their defense against the run. Against a great quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, Carolina’s goal should be to run the ball, win the time of possession, and keep him on the bench.