Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers Preview (12/24/22): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

Lions fans across the nation are in a rare scenario and that is that their team is finally relevant in the month of December. After a win against the Jets, a fluky win as be it may, they now continue their hot stretch against the Carolina Panthers in their quest to keep their playoff hopes alive. Can the Panthers play spoiler under the new regime with Sam Darnold under center? Or will the Lions give their fans an early holiday present and keep their dreams alive?

Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers Betting Odds

Oddsmakers lean towards the Lions pulling off the win as they opened Detroit as a -2.5 favorite. Bettors were quick to back them and take them up to the key number of -3 in some shops, believing that this offense can continue to pick apart defenses and put points on the board. They are primed for another opportunity to do so as the Panthers field a below average defense.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers set the opening number at 44.5. Right below the key number of 45, bettors have still sided with the under by taking the total down to as low as 43.5. Taking the under in any Lions game is a tough pill to swallow as this offense can put up points in a flash, but their defense has drastically improved and can limit the Panthers scoring production.

Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers Prediction

The Pick: Lions -2.5

While the Lions win last week against the Jets was fraudish, it was still encouraging to see their offense move the ball down the field against their vaunted defense. Their offensive woes didn’t take place until they were stalled out in the red zone. The offensive line did their part by giving Goff time in the pocket to make clean looks, a necessity for how awful he can play on the road.

They now have to play on the road again, but against a much weaker defense in comparison to the Jets who ranked top-10 across the board in Defensive DVOA. The Panthers currently rank below average in both Def Pass and Rush DVOA and are coming off a game where they let the Trubisky led Steelers score 24 on them.

More importantly, they go against a weak defensive line on the road. That is a major key for the production of Goff whose road splits are disgusting to look at in comparison to his home stats. Should the offensive line give him room to work with once again, Goff should have little issue making the right read and put the secondary back on their heels.

Another major boost to Goff’s production has been the establishment of an elite ground game. The duo of Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift have proven to be one of the most effective duos in football, giving both a bull back and a pass catcher in the backfield. With an underwhelming rush defense on deck, we can expect Williams and Swift to find success on the ground once again.

Betting Trends

  • Lions are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games
  • Panthers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game

Key Injuries

Detroit Lions Injuries: N/A

Carolina Panthers Injuries: Brandon Smith (D) 

Key Matchups

Can the Lions defense shut down the Darnold led Panthers offense?

Lions secondary vs Panthers pass attack

While the Lions offense is expected to find consistent scoring success, it will be up to their defense to seal the deal. This is a unit that has drastically improved from the start of the season, going from dead last in Def DVOA to near average.

The Panthers have been one of the worst offensive units in football, now dolling out their third quarterback this season with Sam Darnold under center. While he may be the best of the bunch, he can only do so much with a 30th ranked Pass DVOA with little to no weapons on the outside. 

Verdict

Take the Lions at no higher than -3 in what will be a crucial win for their playoff hopes.

Detroit Lions Depth Chart

QB: Jared Goff
RB1: D’Andre Swift
RB2: Jamaal Williams
LWR: DJ Chark
RWR: Josh Reynolds
SWR: Amon-Ra St Brown
TE1: Brock Wright

Carolina Panthers Depth Chart

QB: Sam Darnold
RB1: Donta Foreman
RB2: Chuba Hubbard
LWR: DJ Moore
RWR: Terrace Marshall Jr
SWR: Shi Smith
TE1: Ian Thomas

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

Hot NFL Stories