Lions vs Panthers Odds, Pick, Prediction: NFL Preseason Preview

Lions vs Panthers Odds, Pick, Prediction: NFL Preseason Preview article feature image

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Lions vs. Panthers Odds

Friday, Aug. 25
8 p.m. ET
Lions Odds
-110o / -110u
Panthers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

We open a three-game NFL preseason slate on Friday night by making a Lions vs. Panthers pick.

The Panthers are hoping to see some signs of life from their first-team offense, while the Lions will be resting the vast majority of their starters as they sort out who is going to make their 53-man roster.

Let’s dive into Lions vs. Panthers odds and see who has the edge as we make a betting pick.

Lions vs. Panthers

Matchup Analysis

The Lions rolled out a combination of Nate Sudfeld and Teddy Bridgewater at QB last week against the Jaguars — the results were less than stellar. Sudfeld completed 9-of-18 passes for 80 yards with a TD and an INT, while Bridgewater was 5-of-11 for just 34 yards.

Rookie QB Hendon Hooker has yet to be activated. Detroit head coach Dan Campbell has indicated his starters will not play on Friday, so we should expect to see the Sudfeld/Bridgewater combination once again. Sudfeld has thrown three interceptions in just 46 pass attempts — a poor 6.5% interception rate — and has averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt in two preseason games.

The Lions also have Adrian Martinez on their roster despite signing Bridgewater. Martinez got no reps last week, but I would expect him to be given an opportunity here given how bad Sudfeld has been across a large sample size.

Martinez is certainly mobile and athletic as he scored a 9.45 on his Relative Athletic Score (RAS) in the combine, ranking him 51st of 916 QBs in the RAS database going back to 1987. I wouldn’t expect Martinez to play a ton, but if he gets a quarter of play it will certainly add some volatility to this game given his dual-threat ability.

Ultimately, there is a lot of volatility in this QB room and it is very difficult to project how Detroit's offense will perform.

Bet Detroit vs. Carolina at FanDuel

Lions +4.5

Panthers -4.5

The Panthers are playing Bryce Young and the rest of their starters. That is reflected in the line as the Panthers are currently favored by at least four points at most sportsbooks.

In the five drives Young has led this preseason, he has completed just 7-of-12 passes for a mere 56 yards. Three of his five drives have been three and outs. Young had about 20 snaps last week and Panthers head coach Frank Reich indicated that he should receive approximately the same amount of snaps in the preseason finale.

The Lions' backup defense has looked mostly awful this preseason. They allowed C.J. Beathard and Nathan Rourke to carve them up last week in a 25-7 loss to Jacksonville. In Week 1, they faced fringe NFL player Tommy DeVito and allowed him to throw for 155 yards on 15-of-24 passing.

I expect Young and this first-team offense to manufacture points in the 20 or so snaps they are on the field. Andy Dalton remains doubtful to play, so expect to see a combination of Matt Corral and Jake Luton at QB once Young departs.

Corral has been less than stellar in his preseason reps, averaging just 5.6 YPA and taking five sacks. Looking back at his rookie year, he was awful in his two-game sample, completing just 10-of-24 passes (no touchdowns) with an overall QBR of 49.3. Corral was definitely better last week against the Giants, throwing for 71 yards on 9-of-13 attempts. Expect him to see the bulk of snaps with Luton playing a supplemental role.

Lions vs. Panthers

Betting Picks & Predictions

I expect the Panthers' first team to come out with urgency given their struggles in the first two weeks. Frank Reich knows his team needs some positive momentum heading into Bryce Young’s road debut in Atlanta. I’m looking for Reich to call his best plays to maximize Young’s efficiency and build some confidence before the regular season.

I'm looking to back the Panthers in the first quarter tonight. DraftKings has the only spreads on the first quarter, as of 3 p.m. ET, and we're only laying one-half point with Carolina. I was hoping to play the first-half spreads, but those are the same as the game spread at Panthers -4.5 and I wouldn't play that number.

Pick: Panthers 1Q -0.5 (DraftKings)

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