Don't Doubt Detroit on the Road

Lions vs. Panthers, 1 ET

Did you know that the Lions actually have an outside shot to make the playoffs? They do. Now they take on the Carolina Panthers in a game between two former bottom dwellers. The Panthers already threw the towel in on the season, but that doesn't mean they can't be competitive in this one. Let's take a look at the game and see where we can go with a play.

The Lions are playing very well right now. They are on a three-game winning streak and have won four of their past five games and six of their past seven. This has been an odd schedule for the Lions, they were at home for three games before going on the road for this one and their previous win against the Jets. They have actually won the past three away games. Does all this mean that they are due for a loss? I don't think so. The Lions defense has played better lately as we see them having allowed no more than 23 points over their last three games. They are still finding ways to put up points on offense and look very competent. The Carolina defense is actually pretty good. They only allow 22.4 points per game to opponents on average. The Lions probably will be able to run on them though.

The Panthers come into the game with a 5-9 record and have had a pretty disappointing season. Over their past five games, they won three of them, meaning they were just 2-7 a few weeks ago. After releasing Baker Mayfield, the Panthers have turned to Sam Darnold once again and he's actually been pretty solid. He hasn't thrown an interception in his three starts and has a touchdown in each game. He doesn't accumulate a ton of yards, but he is looking pretty solid so far. The Lions defense, though improved, is still not great. They can be thrown on, they can be run on, but they also aren't going to allow teams to score on them at will. I think this is a good opportunity for the Panthers to work on some things offensively.

I still take the Lions to win this game and cover the -2.5 spread. It isn't a very good spot for them, and this is a little closer to gambling than I prefer, but I can only look toward Detroit covering. They are on a role and with the improvements I've seen on both offense and defense, I think they keep pushing as they look to make a surprising playoff appearance.

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