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NFL Betting Pick & Prediction: Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions - Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022

December 24, 2022

The Carolina Panthers (5-9) play host to the Detroit Lions (7-7) Saturday, December 24th at 1 pm ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC.

Carolina Panthers Betting Preview

The Carolina Panthers are a run-heavy team who traded their top running back this season away. They are trying to piece things together and salvage what should have been a more productive year. This makes them very dangerous to middle-of-the-road teams.

They are the definition of unpredictable in this league. Sam Darnold is capable as a game manager with a solid run game, great O-line, and a great defense. He doesnt have those, but I can see him being productive in this league. 

Their Defense is not terrible. Are they Good, absolutely not. They rank 17th in the league in total yards, and 22nd in rushing yards. And to top it off, they are near the bottom of the league in takeaways as well. The bright spot is the pass defense, allowing only 211.4 yards per game. This looks to set up well against the pass happy lions this week.

Detroit Lions Betting Preview

The Lions have something in December that they usually dont have.  HOPE. They are 7-7 and have a real chance at the playoffs. The Jared Goff trade is starting to look average, as he leads the 8th best passing attack in the league.  He is completing 64.9% of his passes, and his bad throw% is only 17.5%.

The Lions defense is the problem. They rank 31st in yards allowed, and 31st in points scored against. They are porous in all aspects. The bright spot is their takeaways, and they have 30 sacks so far this year.  They are at least trying to get after the QB of the opponent and force something to happen. The problem is when you are out of position so often on the backend, there is no net to protect you.

Game Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

Bookmaker has the Lions as 3-point road favorites. There is an over under of 43.5 for the game.

This year Carolina is 7-7 against the spread. They are a much better home team though. They are 4-4 at home compared to 1-5 on the road.

The Lions are 10-4 against the spread their record is the same on the road as it is at home. They are a feast or famine team.

My first impression is to run away from the absolute tire fire that is the Panthers lately. They seem to trip over themselves as an organization whenever possible. I just see this playing into their favor. Detroit is an indoor team, and indoor teams struggle in cold weather more often than not.

The Lions dont tackle in space well, the dont cover well, and they dont confuse opponents often.  I look for this to set up well for Darnold. I see him throwing the ball well and if he can protect the ball, not force errant throws, and not fumble when the Lions get to him. I see this rolling slightly in favor of the home team here.

Pick: Carolina Panthers +3