The Carolina Panthers look to close their 2020 campaign on a high note as they try to take down the NFC North division champions Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
The Packers clinched their division last weekend and they are currently the top seed in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers has emerged as an MVP candidate after not much was expected of him and his team this season. On the other hand, the Panthers are out of the playoff conversation. This team had a good start but its performance has gradually dipped, primarily due to injuries. Christian McCaffrey could make his long-awaited return in this game but that may not be enough to stop the streaking Packers.
The Carolina Panthers share the worst record in the NFC at 4-9 on the season. Carolina was 3-3 at one point and there was some optimism this season. However, injuries have hurt this team and they have not been able to win close games. The Panthers have little to play for in this game but as we saw last week, they’re still in it to compete.
Terry Bridgewater is completing 70.7% of his passes and has thrown for 3,102 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Carolina has 15 passing touchdowns overall which is the 5th lowest output in the league. Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore are closing in on 1,000-yard seasons with 996 and 924 receiving yards respectively. Mike Davis leads the team with 555 receiving yards while also catching another 371 yards. Davis has seven touchdowns to lead the team.
The Panthers have the 15th ranked passing game and the 9th best scoring in the league at 23.6 points per game this season. On defense, they are as mediocre at 15th in rushing and 22nd in passing. The Panthers also have the 5th fewest sacks in the NFL at 19 while their 3rd down defense is second-worst overall.
Odds from BetOnline as of 12/16/2020
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Detroit Lions last weekend. The Packers are on a roll right now with five wins in their last six games including three in a row heading to this contest. Green Bay has already won the NFC North division and they are just trying to get the best playoff position possible. The Packers are currently the top seed in the NFC after the New Orleans Saints lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Aaron Rodgers is completing 69.6% of his passes. Rodgers has passed for a total of 3,685 yards with 39 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He has thrown three or more touchdowns in seven out of his last eight games played.
Aaron Jones has 823 yards with a team-best seven touchdowns. Davante Adams has 14 receiving touchdowns which is tied for the most in the league.
Adams has also made a TD catch in each of his last eight games played. Za’Darius Smith leads the defense with 10.5 sacks this season.
Green Bay has the league’s second-best passing game and the 10th best rushing attack. Their defense is ranked 8th overall in total yards and has one of the best pass rush in the league, ranking 10th in the league with a total of 35 sacks. However, they are allowing their opponents to score 24.8 points per game.
Carolina is 1-7 SU in their last eight games played. The Panthers are 2-4 in six road games played this season. Green Bay is 5-1 SU in their last six games played. The Packers are 11-1 SU in their last 12 games played at home. Head to head, Green Bay is 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played against Carolina. The Packers are also 4-1 SU in their last five games played against the Panthers.
The Panthers had a great start under first-year head coach Matt Rhule. But the team has dropped seven straight games with Terry Bridgewater starting at QB. The latest of these was a 32-27 loss as four-point home favorites against the Denver Broncos last week. Carolina has little to play for right now but they are well-coached and continue to compete. Against Denver, they battled back from double-digit lead several times during the game.
This season, the Packers have been burned when they take their foot off the gas pedal and let opponents come back in the game. Last week, they almost fell prey to this again. They beat the Lions 31-24 but failed to cover the nine-point spread.
Matt Rhule says he wants to play Christian McCaffrey again this season but the Panthers’ defense has struggled when facing an elite quarterback this year. Aaron Rodgers certainly fits that bill and the Packers are rolling right now with five wins in their last six games and three straight victories heading to this contest. Green Bay is the much better team here and there is nothing more to add to that.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
Other Bets To Make
The Panthers are 7-6 ATS in 13 games played this season. Carolina is 5-0 ATS in their last five games played on the road. The Packers are 8-5 ATS in 13 games played so far this season, and 4-2 ATS in six games played at home. Green Bay is also 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the NFC South, and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played against the NFC. Head to head, the Panthers are 4-2 ATS in their last six games played against the Packers.
Odds from BetOnlin as of 12/16/2020
The Packers have clinched their division and while they still want to move up the ladder, they need to keep the roster healthy. Unless Aaron Rodgers wants to pad his stats and compete with Patrick Mahomes for the MVP, I don’t think the Packers care about the score here. Carolina has also been fairly competitive in their games and has been good against the spread while away from home. Green Bay rests its players and won’t win by double digits. I’ll take the plus points here.
Prediction: Carolina Panthers +10
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by Carolina. The Panthers have seen the total go over in four out of their last six road games. The over is also 6-1 in Carolina’s last seven December games but the under is 4-1 in their last five games against the NFC North division. The total has gone under in six out of the last 10 games played by Green Bay. The under is 3-2 in the Packers’ last five home games, 6-0 in their last six December games, and 6-3 in their last nine games as the betting favorite. Head to head, the total has gone over in seven out of the last 10 games played between these two teams.
Odds from BetOnlin as of 12/16/2020
These teams have combined to score 50.8 points per game in their last 10 meetings but Green Bay is looking at the bigger picture here. With the focus on winning the Vince Lombardi trophy than just winning games, I think that the Packers will play this game smart. Green By will race to an early lead then hang on to win with their main men on the bench.
Prediction: Under 51.5