Sunday, December 13, 2020, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1 p.m. ET
Broncos at Panthers Betting Preview: Broncos (+4/-110), Panthers (-4/-110)
The Broncos (4-8) have lost four of their last five games to pretty much fall out of playoff contention. The strong effort last week in the loss at Kansas City came with encouraging moments, but minus the outcome that would have been needed to turn things around.
Quarterback Drew Lock has nine touchdown throws compared to 13 interceptions. That’s part of the team’s 14 passing touchdowns with 21 interceptions. With the team’s 118.9 rushing yards per game, that’s not an ideal combination. That’s probably why the Broncos have scored more than 20 points in only four of 12 games.
Denver is down players in the secondary with the suspension of cornerback A.J. Bouye and the season-ending injury for rookie cornerback Essang Bassey (knee). For that to happen pretty much all at once, it might be tough for the Broncos to recover from the impact of that, particularly if Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is back to form as one of the NFL’s leaders in completion percentage.
The Panthers (4-8) are coming off their open week, having to wait until December before taking a break. When ready to return to normal activities, they went on a pause because of coronavirus protocols before reaching the practice field again. Still, the break figured to do this team some good and they’re trying to shake a stretch that includes losses in five of their last six games.
Carolina receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are among those on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so if they’re not available that would put a glitch in their plans. Linebacker Shaq Thompson, a defensive leader, could be out for the same reason.
Things were lining up for running back Christian McCaffrey to be back in action after missing the past three games, this time with a shoulder ailment. Now there’s some hesitation on his status because of quad discomfort, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
Broncos at Panthers Betting Pick for Week 14
The Panthers’ only victory against Denver came in 2008 at home. The two-most recent meetings came in calendar year 2016, with the Broncos winning the Super Bowl in February and then repeating that success with a one-point victory the following September at home. There have been some hard-luck results for the Panthers (at New Orleans, at Kansas City, at Minnesota), so they should be due for some fortune falling their way.
Broncos at Panthers Betting Pick:
Panthers 27, Broncos 21
Broncos at Panthers Best Bet for Week 14
While some of the Panthers’ key offensive players might be out, the absence of starters on the defensive side could be more devastating. The Broncos figure to be finding their groove a bit more offensively after a week to regroup from the quarterback-less game. Denver’s ability to break down Carolina’s nickel coverage packages will be instrumental in bolstering the point total.
Broncos at Panthers Best Bet: OVER 47 total points (-110)