Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview

Sunday, November 29, 2020, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1 p.m. ET

Panthers at Vikings Betting Preview: Panthers (+4.5/+110), Vikings (-4.5/-110)

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers (4-7) snapped a five-game losing streak with a blanking of Detroit last week, marking the first shutout for Carolina in five years. Teddy Bridgewater, a former first-round draft pick for the Vikings, could be back in action after missing a game for the first time this season with a knee injury.

P.J Walker filled in at quarterback, throwing his first NFL touchdown pass, though he was picked off twice in the end zone. Carolina likely will be without running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) again. The Panthers seemed motivated on defense, particularly after a miserable outing a week earlier against Tampa Bay.

Whether they maintain that type of anger channeled in the right direction could be a factor in how they perform in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings (4-6) seemed to have wasted some of the good work of a three-game winning streak by losing at home to struggling Dallas. Getting back on track against the Panthers is almost essential in order to salvage the season. Most of the issues of concern came on the defensive side for the Vikings, whose youth showed up with numerous breakdowns against the Cowboys.

Carolina has some fill-ins at work on offense, but it’s the only NFL team with two receivers (DJ Moore and Robby Anderson) with more than 800 receiving yards. The Vikings generally put up enough points to get things done. Dalvin Cook has gone above the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second season in a row.

There are questions about the availability of receiver Adam Thielen, whose 11 touchdown catches reflect more than half of the team’s total of 20. Thielen went on the Reserve/COVID-19 list at the beginning of the week but has since tested negative.

Panthers at Vikings Betting Pick for Week 12

The Vikings seem due for another “prove-it” situation and so they should be determined after a performance riddled with mistakes. An overriding storyline for the game will be the status of Bridgewater, who is expected to be back on the field after a one-week absence with a knee injury.

Bridgewater is a former first-round draft choice and starter with the Vikings, so he figures to be well-motivated as well.

Panthers at Vikings Betting Pick: Vikings 28, Panthers 23

Panthers at Vikings Best Bet for Week 12

The Vikings tend to reach the 28-point mark with regularity and so that might make the accomplishments of Carolina’s defense turn into a one-week blip. Minnesota has plenty of offensive weapons.

If the Panthers have Bridgewater back, they should be capable of doing some good work on offense, especially if the Vikings haven’t gotten things fixed on defense.

Panthers at Vikings Best Bet: OVER 48.5 total points (-110)

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers Betting Preview

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)

Detroit Lions

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.

Carolina Panthers

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)