Sunday, November 22, 2020, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C., 1 p.m. ET
Lions at Panthers Betting Preview: Lions (+3/+115), Panthers (-3/-115)
The Lions (4-5) have won three of their last five games and they appear as outside contenders for playoff position. That might provide some extra motivation, or just be a false impression about their possibilities. Quarterback Matt Stafford is dealing with an injured right hand, something he played through in directing the late-game dramatics that provided the victory last week against Washington.
How he responds to treatment this week could determine his effectiveness. Even though it sounds like some of his activity is on the day-to-day level, it’s hard to imagine he’ll miss this matchup as he tends to be ready by game day in many cases. This would figure to be a critical game for Detroit if it’s going to be a serious threat for a playoff spot in another month. The Lions are 1-4 all-time in trips to Charlotte, last winning there in 1999.
The five-game losing streak might be wearing on the Panthers, whose reaction was one of agitation after a 46-23 blowout loss to Tampa Bay. Other setbacks in the losing streak were by much narrower margins — seven points to Chicago, three points to New Orleans, eight points to Atlanta and two points to Kansas City.
The Panthers (3-7) have faced a series of well-credentialed quarterbacks in the past month: Drew Brees (Saints), Matt Ryan (Falcons), Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) and Tom Brady (Buccaneers). The concern is that they’ve given up too many points in recent weeks. How Carolina is going to score to keep up is a good question as there’s uncertainty about if quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will respond from the knee injury sustained late in the Tampa Bay game.
At least there’s a chance he’ll be on the field, while All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) will miss another game. McCaffrey hasn’t played a home game since the season opener.
Lions at Panthers Betting Pick for Week 11
The Lions don’t always carry through once expectations rise, and so this could be a dangerous type of assignment for them. The Panthers were tied with Tampa Bay at halftime before last week’s game got away from them, but they’ve been in a bunch of close games.
Carolina will be entering a game for the first time after Matt Rhule took them to task about their performance, something he had mostly shied away from with a positive approach until the most-recent loss. How the Panthers react to this might reveal a lot about how the rest of their season goes.
Lions at Panthers Betting Pick: Panthers 23, Lions 21
Lions at Panthers Best Bet for Week 11
With both teams possibly turning to second-string quarterbacks and the Panthers without McCaffrey, this could be a game that’s dictated by defenses. Bridgewater certainly has been the catalyst for the Panthers when they’ve been smooth on offense.
The Panthers, in particular, could be surly on defense if their livid reaction to their second-half performance last week in the loss to Tampa Bay is turned into something good for that unit. The Lions are prone to sputter at times on offense, though they’ve scored at least 20 points in every game this season.
Lions at Panthers Best Bet: UNDER 49 points (-110)