Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers drops back to pass during the first half in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Two NFC teams coming off losses will meet in Detroit on Sunday when the Lions (3-6) host the Carolina Panthers (6-3) as small road favorites at sportsbooks.

The difference is the Lions have lost three games in a row, while the Panthers suffered their first loss in four games following a three-game winning streak when they were blown out 52-21 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Week 10 Thursday night matchup.


NFL point spread: The Panthers opened as 3.5-point favorites; the total was 50.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 27.0-22.2 Panthers (NFL picks on every game)

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Why the Panthers can cover the spread

You can certainly argue that Detroit's road loss to the Chicago Bears was equally bad last Sunday, trailing 26-7 at halftime and 34-10 at the end of the third quarter.

The Lions scored two garbage touchdowns in the fourth to make the final score 34-22, but they still performed poorly as the Bears snapped a 10-game skid against NFC North opponents.

Carolina will be on the road for the second consecutive week, although the team has had extra time to prepare for Detroit and has won six of the past seven meetings.


Why the Lions can cover the spread

The Lions have played better at home this season for the most part outside of a pair of ugly losses to the New York Jets in their first at Ford Field and to the Seattle Seahawks in their last.

In between, they upset the New England Patriots 26-10 as seven-point home underdogs and beat the Green Bay Packers 31-23 in a key divisional game.

Detroit's three-game losing streak is definitely concerning, but the team begins a crucial three-game homestand now that will make or break Matt Patricia's first year as head coach. After the meeting with the Panthers, the Lions will host Chicago on Thanksgiving and the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13.

The Lions cannot afford to lose all three, so this looks like the best bet for a victory.


Smart betting pick

Detroit's season is obviously on the line here, and while it is doubtful that Patricia would be fired after just one year, he cannot afford to see his team's struggles continue, either.

The Lions are 8-2 straight up in their last 10 at home after losing their previous game there. That is a trend worth wagering on, so take Detroit to at least cover the spread and possibly pull off the small upset.


NFL betting trends

The total has gone over in four of the Panthers' last five games versus the Lions.

The total has gone over in seven of the Lions' last 10 games.

The Panthers are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games as road favorites.


All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.