Two division bottom dwellers face off in Charlotte as the 4-5 Lions take on the 3-7 Panthers.
Carolina were put to the sword by a Buccaneers side who were adamant on dishing out some retribution after being humbled in their previous contest and even though the Panthers started hot the pressure and talent of Tampa eventually told and the Panthers couldn’t keep up and even though this side have lost 5 on the bounce it’s important to remember that they’re not a bad side and 4 of their 7 losses this season have come to the Tampa Bay Bucs, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs all of which have Lombardi hoisting ambitions. The Panthers will once again be without their best player in Christian McCaffrey and the availability of QB Teddy Bridgewater will be a game time decision due to a knee injury.
On the other side are the Detroit Lions who find themselves 1 game off of .500 after winning three of their last five games. It took a huge Matt Prater FG to beat the Washington Football Team after rookie Chase Young gave away a stupid penalty. The Lions may still harbour playoff aspirations due to the nature of the up and down NFC North and a win here would be a massive boost to those chances but the absence of both Kenny Golladay and DeAndre Swift will hamper their ability to move the ball on Offense as will the thumb injury sustained by QB Matthew Stafford and whilst he should be more than good to go here its to be seen how the injury messes with his game.
Although I think this is another close game I do believe the Panthers are the better team and a big part of the reason that they’re home underdogs is because of the uncertainty around the availability of QB Teddy Bridgewater and although if he plays it’ll be a big boost I don’t think the drop off to his understudy is that huge and this Joe Brady offense is more about the play caller than the pass thrower so with or without Bridgewater I think the Panthers offer value especially considering the Lions will be without their two biggest offensive playmakers. I also like Kerryon Johnson as an outside play to find himself on the scoresheet, with Swift missing this game I expect the carries to be split between himself and the ageless Adrian Peterson and whilst I like Adrian Peterson to score at 7/5 against this below average Panther run defense i think the huge 11/4 price for Johnson is again great value.
PREDICTION: PANTHERS 21 – 20 LIONS
BEST BET: PANTHERS to win the game outright – 21/20 with SkyBet. 1 point bet.
NEXT BEST: Kerryon Johnson anytime TD – 11/4 with Betfair. 0.5 point bet.