Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers
The Detroit Lions look to gain momentum heading into the playoff drive as they host the Carolina Panthers. The Lions are -7 point favorites over the Panthers with an over/under point total set at 48.5.
The Detroit Lions started this season a perfect 5-0 but since then they are 1-3 and are looking for answers. Matthew Stafford has managed to stay healthy at QB this season and he is putting together solid numbers completing 59.7 percent of his passes for 2,508 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The running game has disappeared as Jahvid Best has missed several games with a concussion and Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams left to try and pick up the pieces with Best not expected to play once again. Calvin Johnson is one of the best in the game and he has 54 catches and 11 touchdowns and tight end Brandon Pettigrew has 46 catches. The Lions defense allows 318.4 yards per game and 20.4 points and they have 10 fumble recoveries, 26 sacks, and 11 interceptions. DeAndre Levy has 69 tackles, Cliff Avril has six sacks, and Chris Houston has four interceptions. The Detroit lions need to right the ship right now if they hope to make the playoffs as they seemed like a lock a few weeks ago and now they are on the fringe and could be on the outside looking in.
The Carolina Panthers are an improved team but they have some growing to do before they become a contender. Carolina looks to be putting the pieces in place especially at QB where rookie Cam Newton has completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 2,605 yards with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The running game has two of the best backs in the NFL in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart but neither has set the world on fire this year though both are capable of a big game every time out. Steve Smith has had a rebirth at receiver with 51 catches, 951 yards, and four touchdowns and Greg Olsen has given Newton another target and he has 34 catches and four scores. The Carolina defense allows 361.4 yards per game and 19.8 points and they have 17 sacks, six fumble recoveries, and five interceptions. James Anderson has an impressive 76 tackles, Charles Johnson has seven sacks, and Chris Gamble and Sherrod Martin have two interceptions each. It seems to be just a matter of time until the Panthers start converting the stats and the talent into wins.
Detroit is 10-3-1 against the spread in their last 14 games overall, 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 home games, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as a home favorite. Carolina is 3-7 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 1-5 against the spread in their last six road games, and 4-1 against the spread following a double digit home loss. Carolina is 1-4 against the spread in the last five meetings.
The total in this game is set at 48.5 and while it has dropped from 49 and may continue to drop, it still is a solid play as neither of these defenses allow anywhere near numbers that facilitate this kind of scoring.