Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers NFL predictions, picks, odds & spreads: Panthers push the Lions

There are playoff implications on the line for both teams here as the Detroit Lions take on the Carolina Panthers. No one would have believed that at the start of the season, but the Lions have been on a tear in recent weeks to get into wild-card contention, while the Panthers currently sit just 1 win behind the Buccaneers in the NFC South. Who will bolster their chances of reaching the postseason? Our expert has their picks, predictions and best bets for this Lions vs Panthers matchup.

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NFL Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers expert predictions

The Lions just won’t stop rolling but the Panthers have shown plenty of grit in recent weeks, earning some solid victories with the team rallying around quarterback Sam Darnold. There’s a new-found sense of belief in this Carolina team that they can make a real push to reach the playoffs with the Bucs’ problems appearing to have no end in sight. That could make them valuable, especially as a home underdog.

Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers spread, odds & betting lines

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Point Spread: Lions -3, Panthers +3
Total Points Over/Under: 43.5 points
Money Line Odds: Lions -145, Panthers +125

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Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers expert picks

We’ve got 2 standout NFL picks for the clash between the Lions and Panthers.

Lions vs Panthers point spread pick: Panthers +3 (-110)

The Lions keep on rolling and have inserted themselves into the playoff picture. The Lions escaped with a win over the Jets at MetLife and while the Carolina defense isn’t as good as the Jets, they are giving up just 22 points per game at home. Carolina’s defense continues to assert itself as one of the tougher units in the league. They have 15 sacks over the last 5 weeks and have only allowed 19 points per game over their last three games. How much Carolina’s offense can have success in the run game will likely determine the outcome. If they have success on the ground, they can keep the Lions’ high-scoring offense off the field.

The Lions’ run defense has struggled on the road this year and that should help Carolina control the tempo. The Lions have been great ATS this year going 10-4, but I don’t like them laying points on the road. This is one of those games that will tell you how real the Lions are, especially with this being their second straight-road game. Carolina is 4-1 ATS over their last five games. I’ll take Carolina plus the points.

Be sure to check out our full Lions vs Panthers predictions

Lions vs Panthers Over/Under totals pick: Over 44 (-110)

It’s a high-scoring Lions offense against an emerging Panthers defense. The Lions’ offense keeps rolling but was challenged last week against the Jets. And while the numbers don’t tell you the Panthers’ defense is great, over the last five weeks, they’ve been much improved, allowing just over 16 points per game in their last four home games.

This is a lower total than the Lions are used to which makes it very enticing. This may come down to how much the Panthers can score. If they can get to at least 20, I feel the Lions can do the rest. The problem for the Panthers is that they don’t get to 20 often. Of their 9 losses on the season, they’ve only reached 20 points 3 times. If the Lions get a lead, it could be hard for the Panthers to play catch up. Still, with the Panthers’ playoff hopes on the line, I think we get their best effort and points.

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