Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers Matchup Preview (12/13/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Neither of these teams has a real shot at the playoffs at this point in the season, and both Broncos and Panthers fans will be disappointed with how things turned out. Neither team has had much success since these sides met in Super Bowl 50, and both squads now sit at 4-8. The Panthers are coming off a much-needed bye week while the Broncos are coming off a nearly massive upset over the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, December 13th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, North Carolina
TV Coverage: CBS
Broncos vs. Panthers Live Stream
Where can you watch Broncos vs. Panthers online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Broncos vs. Panthers Free Online Now.
Denver Broncos: OG Graham Glasgow (toe) Q, WR Tyrie Cleveland (illness) Q, TE Jake Butt (hamstring) IR eligible to return
Carolina Panthers: CB Rasul Douglas (personal) Q, DE Yetur Gross-Matos (personal) Q, TE Ian Thomas (knee) Q, S Tre Boston (hamstring) Q, RB Christian McCaffrey (thigh) D, WR D.J. Moore (COVID-19) IR
Denver Broncos Analysis
It’s been a rough season for the Broncos, and it started trending that way well before the season started. Devastating season-ending injuries to Von Miller and Jurrell Casey left this front seven lighter than expected. At the same time, Courtland Sutton hasn’t suited up as the team’s expected top wideout hurt his ACL and MCL before the season. More recently, injuries to Bryce Callahan and Essang Bassey, as well as a PED-related suspension for A.J. Bouye, have left this secondary in a tough position. Vic Fangio’s defense still ranks middle-of-the-pack in most respects but isn’t elite in any one category.
Drew Lock hasn’t been able to overcome the losses on offense, and he ranks as the worst quarterback in the NFL with his passer rating of 67.1. He’s thrown for just 1,918 yards with 9 touchdowns and 13 interceptions through 9 games. That’s a 16-game pace of 3,400 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, certainly not what Broncos fans had hoped for from their second-year QB. The offensive skill players on this team have performed admirably well despite Lock’s struggles. Tim Patrick has emerged as the team’s top pass-catcher with 62 receptions for 607 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Noah Fant have strong long-term potential, but the passing game hasn’t been very effective with Lock.
Luckily, the running game has been very productive. Melvin Gordon has 149 carries for 685 yards and 5 touchdowns this season and had 131 yards on 15 carries against the Chiefs last week. Philip Lindsay hasn’t been as good lately as he’s dealt with some minor nagging injuries. The offensive line has done okay in holding Lock to just 2 sacks per game, the 13th-fewest in the NFL, and their run-blocking has been solid. However, the offense is still averaging just 18.8 points per game, the second-fewest in the NFL.
Denver Broncos Depth Chart
Carolina Panthers Analysis
The Panthers’ offense has been solid under Matt Rhule and Joe Brady, imposing with the ongoing injury to Christian McCaffrey. Mike Davis has done a solid job filling in with 126 carries for 504 yards and 2 touchdowns this season. However, the team’s lack of rushing production without CMC has held back this offense from being one of the best units in the NFL. It does not look like CMC will be able to return this week. Teddy Bridgewater and the passing game have done pretty well, though. The former Vikings and Saints quarterback has completed 70.2% of his passes for 2,819 yards and 14 touchdowns to 8 interceptions, good for a 96.3 passer rating, the 13th-best in the NFL.
Carolina’s pass-catchers have had impressive seasons, particularly Robby Anderson, who has 75 catches for 912 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first season with the team – that’s a 16-game pace of 100 catches for 1,216 yards and 3 touchdowns. D.J. Moore is the leading wideout for the team with big-play ability – he’s averaged 18.5 YPR – but he’ll miss this game after testing positive for COVID-19. Curtis Samuel will likely be more involved this week with Moore out – he has 54 catches for 517 yards and 3 touchdowns and 27 rushing attempts for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns this season.
Defensively, the Panthers have been poor. They rank middle-of-the-pack in most regards, but Carolina allows opponents to convert on 51.3% of third-down attempts, the second-highest rate in football. Brian Burns is a leading Pro Bowl vote receiver with 6 sacks and 9 tackles for a loss. However, the Panthers are dealing with injuries to Rasul Douglas, Donte Jackson, and Tre Boston, their top three starters in the secondary. Carolina will have some work to do to make this defense good enough to complement an exciting offense next season.
Carolina Panthers Depth Chart
Spread: Panthers -3.5, Broncos +3.5
Moneyline: Panthers -170, Broncos +150
Over/Under: 45.5 points
Early bettors have been all over the Panthers in this game, and it makes perfect sense. The Broncos have been complicated to trust lately, and Carolina is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games. While D.J. Moore is out, Teddy Bridgewater, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel should take advantage of a weak Denver secondary. The Broncos also have an ugly -17 turnover differential this year with 28 giveaways, both of which lead the NFL. The Panthers have been much more efficient with a +4 turnover differential. Carolina may not be the more talented team top-to-bottom, but I trust Teddy Bridgewater way more than Drew Lock, and I would bet that way on this game. I would lean towards the over, and the total has gone over in 4 of Carolina’s last 6 games.
My predictions: Panthers win 26-23, Broncos cover, over 45.5 points
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Daily Fantasy Picks
With A.J. Bouye, Bryce Callahan, and Essang Bassey all out this week, the Panthers’ passing attack should see a significant upgrade. D.J. Moore is out this week with COVID-19, so Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel will lead the charge for this team. Both guys should be on the DFS radar. However, Teddy Bridgewater sees a downgrade with Moore out, and I’m not thrilled about him in this matchup. Melvin Gordon has emerged as the top running back for Denver, and the Panthers have allowed 4.6 YPC, the 9th-most in the NFL. Other than Gordon, there’s nobody on the Denver side who I’m considering for DFS.