The Carolina Panthers travel to frigid Lambeau Field to take on the surging Green Bay Packers for the second game on Saturday (8.15pm ET; TV: NFL Network).
The NFL regular season may be dwindling down, but this week we are gifted two games on Saturday. This isn’t one of the most ideal matchups, but we think it provides some of the better value on the slate. So keep reading for our full preview and Panthers vs Green Bay Packers predictions with betting picks.
The Packers are one of the strongest teams in the NFL and they are currently sitting atop the NFC. They have already clinched their division and look to stay hot on the push to the playoffs. They have won five of their last six games and their only loss during that stretch was in overtime against the Colts. They are coming off yet another win, but were not able to cover as eight-point home favorites against the Lions.
The Panthers are coming off a disappointing home loss to the lowly Broncos. Carolina were three-point favorites with the American sports gambling operators and lost 32-27. With nothing to play for, it looks like star running back Christian McCaffrey will be out yet again this week due to a thigh injury. He was limited in practice today but he is officially listed as doubtful to play against the Packers. McCaffrey hasn’t played since Week 9 against the Chiefs.
The Panthers will get a boost on offense with wide receiver DJ Moore being activated off of the COVID list after missing last week’s loss. Moore leads the team in receiving touchdowns and is second on the team in receiving yards. This should drastically help starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a Carolina offense that has struggled to score at times this season. They rank 19th in the NFL in average points per game with 23.6 and they have scored 24.7 points per game in their last three games.
The Panthers should be able to put up a solid amount of points on a Packers defense that has allowed 24.8 points per game on average. They rank 20th in Football Outsider’s defensive DVOA, which is one of the worst amongst teams who are currently in the playoffs. The Packers are also one of the worst defenses at turning their opponents over. They rank 28th in the NFL and only average 1.0 takeaway per game.
Their offense easily makes up for all of their defensive flaws. They rank 1st in the league in average points per game (31.5) and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having an MVP caliber season. Rodgers is tied for third in passing yards with Russell Wilson. He is first in passing touchdowns and he has thrown the fewest interceptions amongst starting quarterbacks. He currently has the second-best MVP odds with the bookies: Patrick Mahomes is the favorite at -200 and Rodgers is second at +175.
Our Betting Preview’s Carolina Panthers vs Green Bay Packers Predictions with Picks Advice
This preview from USAbetting is going to be riding with the road underdog, the Carolina Panthers +9pts. We think this number is entirely too high against a Packers team that has shown it can’t always put inferior teams away. Just last week they beat the Lions by seven as eight-point favorites. In Week 10 they barely beat a Jaguars team with one win as -13.5pt home favorites. They scored a touchdown with nine minutes left in the 4th quarter to take the lead and held on to beat the Jags 24-20.
Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers have an innate ability to keep games close and cover the spread. They are 6-3 against the spread as underdogs and are 5-1 ATS on the road. Bridgewater has historically been one of the better quarterbacks against the spread and even stronger as an underdog. In his six-year career he is 33-13 against the spread overall and 23-6 ATS as an underdog.
Teddy Two Gloves comes to play when the chips are stacked against him. We don’t see this week being any different. With wide receiver DJ Moore returning and fellow receiver Robby Anderson having his best season of his career, Bridgewater has more than enough weapons to keep this game close. He should also have plenty of time to go through his progressions and find the open man to move the ball down the field and ultimately score.
According to the Action Network, the Packers defense ranks 22nd in pressure rate. If they aren’t able to get pressure on Bridgewater the offense will have success. They should also be able to move the ball on the ground despite not having their star running back. They rank 23rd in defensive rushing success rate and allow 4.6 yards per carry, which is sixth worst in the league.
Reserve running back Mike Davis averages 4.1 yards per carry and Teddy Bridgewater is another option out of the backfield. Bridgewater averages 6.0 yards per carry and is second on the team with four rushing touchdowns.
I think the Panthers offense will be able to do enough to keep this game close and cover the spread. We see this being a competitive 28-24 victory for the Packers and a cover for the Panthers. So when it comes to the picks, it is just this one to conclude our Carolina Panthers vs Green Bay Packers predictions and NFL game preview: