Panthers vs Lions Preview: Carolina Still Winless Against Spread

Difficult Start Continues for No. 1 Overall Pick Bryce Young

The future may be bright for the Carolina Panthers. But in the meantime, the Panthers are certainly taking their lumps. They’re already 0-4, with a trip to face the Detroit Lions on tap.

After opening as a 7.5-point favorite, Detroit is now up to -9.5 (-110) on the spread and -425 to win outright. Meanwhile, the Panthers are +7.5 (-110) on the spread and +345 on the moneyline, making them one of the biggest underdogs of Week 5. The projected total is 45 (-105 Over, -115 Under).

Can the Panthers cover? Let’s dive into the matchup in our Panthers vs Lions preview.

Panthers logo Carolina Panthers vs Detroit Lions Lions logo

Date & Time:
Location: Ford Field; Detroit
Streaming: FOX

Panthers vs Lions Betting Trends

The Carolina Panthers are 0-3-1 against the spread this season and 1-4-1 over their last six games. The total has gone Under in four of the Panthers’ last five games. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions are 12-2 ATS over their last 14 games, including 3-1 this season. The Lions have won six of their last seven games against the spread at home. The total has also gone Under in four of their last six contests. That’s important to remember when assessing the odds in our Panthers vs Lions preview.

Growing Pains for Panthers

Bryce Young‘s introduction to the NFL has been difficult, to say the least. The Carolina Panthers have scored only two touchdowns over the 12 quarters during which he’s been under center. They’re now 0-4 — one of only two winless teams remaining — and life isn’t expected to get any easier over the next month.

The Panthers are coming off a 21-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4. A 4-point underdog, Carolina blew leads of 10-0 and 13-7. They were shut out in the second half and finished with only 232 total yards.

Carolina is now averaging just 282.5 yards and 16.8 points per game, ranking it near the bottom of the NFL in both categories. On top of that, Young has already been sacked 11 times in three games, per live NFL stats. Without a proven No. 1 receiver in their arsenal — veteran Adam Thielen has a team-high 27 receptions — Carolina has struggled to spread the field.

The Panthers are also banged up on defense, which obviously doesn’t help. Linebacker Shaq Thompson is out for the season with a fractured fibula, and cornerback Jaycee Horn is on IR with a hamstring injury. Those injuries will only be more magnified with Detroit and Miami on the schedule over the next two weeks.

Given that, is Carolina destined to start 0-6? It’s very possible, especially if Young continues to struggle. The Panthers need to do more to support the former No. 1 overall pick.

It’s Go Time for Detroit

Are the Detroit Lions for real? It sure looks that way.

The Lions are now 3-1 after thumping the rival Green Bay Packers 34-20 in Week 4, per NFL scores. David Montgomery ran for 121 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, helping the Lions cover the 2-point spread with ease.

Oddsmakers are bullish on Detroit. After opening +130 to win the NFC North, the Lions are now a -225 favorite. They’re also +850 to win the NFC, the fourth-best odds on the board behind San Francisco (+225), Philadelphia (+300), and Dallas (+400). Additionally, Dan Campbell is a heavy +450 favorite to win NFL Coach of the Year.

The Lions have a highly productive offense (averaging 26.5 points), and they’re due to get back Jameson Williams, whose suspension for gambling was reduced. The former first-round pick will likely be brought along slowly following an extended layoff. His only career reception was a 41-yard touchdown last season.

Losing safety CJ Gardner-Johnson to a season-ending pectoral injury was undoubtedly a big blow to Detroit’s defense, but the Lions remain formidable on that side of the ball. They’ve already recorded 13 sacks and are fourth in yards allowed (280.5 per game). Keep that in mind when analyzing the odds in our Panthers vs Lions preview.

Handicapping the Game

This is a large NFL point spread, but the Lions are certainly capable of doing what’s necessary to cash in. Carolina has one of the NFL’s worst offenses. The game is moving a bit fast for Young at the moment, and without legitimate help on the outside, he’s going to continue to struggle.

The Lions’ pass rush is a particularly big concern for Carolina. Led by former first-rounder Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions have made a habit of harassing opposing quarterbacks. That’s not going to change.

Detroit should have no problem in this spot. Look for Campbell and Co. to win by double digits.

For NFL betting news, odds, analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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