The Carolina Panthers (6-3) travel to Michigan this weekend for a showdown with the Detroit Lions (3-6). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on November 18th at Ford Field and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Panthers listed as 3.5-point road favorites. That line has shifted just slightly after early betting, as Carolina is currently available at -4. The total for this matchup is 51.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 11 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Lions vs Panthers Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Carolina got absolutely destroyed on Thursday Night Football in Week 10, losing 52-21 to Pittsburgh to drop to 6-3 overall. The Panthers got off to an extremely fast start, scoring the games first touchdown on a brilliant run by RB Christian McCaffrey. However, it was all downhill from there as the Steelers dropped 31 points in the first half and never looked back. QB Cam Newton has played well this season, throwing for 2,086 yards and 17 touchdowns so far. He has also thrown two touchdown passes in seven consecutive games. He certainly has had a ton of help from McCaffrey, who leads the way out of the backfield with over 1,000 total yards in just nine games. Overall, Carolina is currently averaging 26.8 points per game (9th overall). They have been fantastic on the ground, averaging 138.4 rushing yards per game (3rd overall).
Things have been below average on the other side of the ball, as the Panthers are currently giving up an average of 25.8 points per game (23rd overall). They have really been exposed against the pass, allowing 258.2 yards per game through the air (22nd overall).
Detroit fell to 3-6 on the season last weekend, dropping a 34-22 decision on the road in Chicago. The Lions continued their dreadful play on defense so far this year, allowing Mitch Trubisky to throw for 355 yards and three touchdowns. QB Matthew Stafford had an up and down game, passing for 274 yards and two touchdowns but also getting picked off twice. Stafford has now racked up 2,385 passing yards and 16 touchdowns in nine games. He will likely continue to lean heavily on WR Kenny Golladay after the departure of Golden Tate to Philadelphia, especially since it appears Marvin Jones Jr. will be unable to suit up Sunday due to an injury. Golladay has been one of the few bright spots offensively for Detroit, as he currently has over 600 receiving yards. As a whole, the Lions are currently averaging 22.4 points per game (20th overall) on 347.6 total yards.
The Lions have been an absolute disaster defensively, as they are currently giving up 27.1 points per game (28th overall) on 362.1 yards of total offense. They have struggled the most against the run, as opponents are averaging a troubling 132.7 yards per game on the ground (28th overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Carolina -4
While I’m obviously a bit concerned about how bad the Panthers looked in Week 10 against Pittsburgh, I still believe that this sets up as a perfect bounce back spot. Detroit has been one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL all season, and I don’t see a way that they slow down Newton and Co. on Sunday afternoon. The Lions are also going to be without two of the three receivers they had a lot of early season success with, as Golladay is the last man standing at this point. While he and Kerryon Johnson may both have solid games, I still think Carolina offers pretty decent value with the spread still being relatively small at this point.
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The Panthers are an impressive 5-1 ATS in their last six games in the month of November. They are also 10-1 ATS in their last eleven games following a straight up loss and 4-1 ATS over their last five games on turf. Detroit is just 3-10 ATS in their last thirteen games against teams with a winning record. They are also a brutal 0-4 ATS in their last four home games against teams with a winning record.
Carolina has also shown a lot of mental resolve as of late, winning each of their last two games immediately following a loss. They should also be quite well rested after playing over a week ago, as they received three extra days off following their loss on Thursday. Detroit has now been outscored by almost two full touchdowns per game during their current three game slide, so I’m overjoyed to get the Panthers at -4 in this matchup. I’m laying the points and expecting the road favorite to cover with ease.