NFL Picks And Predictions Week 8: Vikings Vs. Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are favorites in Vegas and in the hearts of sportswriters over the Minnesota Vikings. Cam Newton is expected to make the difference versus fellow rookie Christian Ponder.

Funny enough, the Carolina Panthers' experience at quarterback may be the difference in this game. Rookie Christian Ponder will be making just his second career start for the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. Cam Newton is a veteran by contrast, having started all seven games for the 2-5 Panthers and looking impressive along the way.

Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com believes that difference is worth a seven point victory for the Panthers, more than covering the three-point spread set by Vegas. 

Adrian Peterson should have room to run here, since the Panthers struggle to stop the run, but Cam Newton will make too many plays against a Minnesota defense that is 29th in passing net yards per game. Newton outdoes Ponder.

SB Nation's Andrew Sharp agrees, respectfully.

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Peter King likes Carolina by 10, but really just wants to see Jared Allen (and his league-leading 11.5 sacks on the season) chase Newton around all day.

Eight out of 10 ESPN experts agree that the Panthers are better than the Vikings this week, as do four out of five CBS Sports writers and three out of four Yahoo! writers (with one ballot missing as of press time, though I think it's safe to call this one).

Be sure to visit Odds Shark and our NFL Week 8 Odds StoryStream for more odds and lines in week 8. For more on this game, check out Daily Norseman and Cat Scratch Reader. Follow all the action from week 8 in the NFL at SB Nation. 

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