In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds
Panthers vs. Packers Prediction
Lambeau Field, Green Bay
Table of Contents
- Introduction & Team Review
- The Running Game
- The Passing Game
- Final Outlook & Prediction
- Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
- Latest Updates, Injury Reports, & Line Movements
- Insiders' Best Bets
Last Updated: Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 1:46pm EST
It’s a battle of NFC teams looking to improve their standing in the playoff picture meeting on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The Carolina Panthers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon. Carolina comes in off a 30-20 home victory over Tennessee in their previous contest last Sunday. Green Bay saw their four-game win streak halted as they were stifled 26-11 by the Chargers on the road last Sunday. The Packers lead the all-time regular season series between the teams 8-6 but the Panthers have won the last two meetings, including a 31-24 home win in the most recent matchup on December 17, 2017.
Carolina Panthers Review
Carolina started the season slowly, going 0-2 out of the gate as they were edged at home by the Rams (30-27) and by the Buccaneers (20-14) on a Thursday night. The Panthers then reeled off four straight victories after Kyle Allen was inserted into the starting lineup under center in place of an ailing Cam Newton. Carolina dispatched Arizona (38-20) and Houston (16-10) on the road before following up with a home win (34-27) over Jacksonville) and a road victory (37-26) over Tampa Bay for their first division victory of the year. The Panthers went on the road and were obliterated 51-13 by an undefeated 49ers team in week eight coming out of a bye, setting the stage for last week’s contest with the Titans.
The Panthers rode a strong second quarter to a comfortable lead at the half and didn’t let the Titans back into the game. Both teams were scoreless after the opening stanza before the Panthers erupted for 17 second-quarter points to take a 17-0 lead to the locker room at the half. Carolina played tough in the second half, not allowing Tennessee closer than 10 the rest of the way. The Panthers were outgained 431-370 in the contest and allowed 24 first downs while picking up 22 in the game. Carolina controlled the clock by a 33:17 to 26:43 margin and forced three turnovers while committing just one in the game. The Panthers benefitted from Tennessee missing three field goals in the game. On Tuesday, Carolina placed Newton on injured reserve as he is still dealing with pain in his foot, meaning the offense remains Allen’s to run.
Green Bay Packers Review
Green Bay has overcome some tough contests and prevailed in several close games as they come into this contest 7-2 on the season. The Packers enter Week 9 with a one-game lead over the Vikings in the NFC North. Green Bay won their season opener 10-3 on the road over the Bears and followed that up with a 21-16 home win over Minnesota in week two. The Packers earned a home win over Denver (27-16) before suffering their first loss of the season at home to the Eagles on Thursday Night Football in week 4 (34-27) thanks to two long drives fizzling in the fourth quarter. Green Bay bounced back by jumping on Dallas early on the road en route to a 34-24 win. The Packers, despite being banged up, got their offense going against the Raiders, rolling to a 42-24 home win behind a huge game from Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay went on the road and beat the Chiefs 31-24 in week 8, setting up their trip out west to face the Chargers last week.
The Packers were punched in the face repeatedly in the first half and they were unable to answer the bell against the Chargers, bringing their four-game win streak to an end. Green Bay trailed 9-0 at the half as their offense couldn’t move the ball with any kind of success. The Packers trailed 19-0 in the third quarter after a blocked punt set up the Chargers with a short field: that’s when they mounted their first sustained drive. Green Bay got on the board on Mason Crosby’s 54-yard field goal with 46 seconds to play in the third quarter and didn’t score a touchdown until there was 6:21 remaining. It proved to be far too little, too late in the contest. The Packers were dominated 442-184 in total offense, gave up 24 first downs while recording 13 and lost the time of possession 35:51 to 24:09 in the game. There were no turnovers in the contest.
"I don’t think you ever throw it in the trash. (If) you pore over a film where you lit it up and then just throw one away (where you struggled), I think it sets a bad precedent for your mental psyche,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday to the Monterey County Weekly. “I think it’s important to approach each one the same and sometimes after a rough one like Sunday, you might spend a little extra time on it.
“Anybody who plays the game for long has had a few duds over the years,” Rodgers continued. “I’ve said before, most of the great games, most of the time, it doesn’t quite look as good as it felt. This one … it kind of looked how it felt. It didn’t feel that great and it didn’t look that great. There wasn’t a lot of silver lining.”
The Running Game
Carolina Panthers Running Offense
Green Bay Packers Running Defense
Carolina Panthers Running Offense
Carolina has one of the most dynamic running backs in the league but they’ve had their ups and downs with the ground game this season. The Panthers have run for more than 100 yards in five of their eight games this season, including three games with at least 150 yards on the ground. On the flip side, Carolina has been held under 60 yards twice this season so they have been shut down at times. The run game has been solid over the last month as the Panthers have at least 130 yards in three of their last four games, highlighted by a season-high 285 yards against Jacksonville in week five. Last week against Tennessee, the Panthers ran the ball 33 times for 156 yards.
Christian McCaffrey has been the workhorse running back for the Panthers as he has run the ball 165 times for 881 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year. Reggie Bonnafon contributes 11 carries for 95 yards and a score while Curtis Samuel has six carries for 56 yards and a touchdown this season. The Panthers have seven run plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: McCaffrey has six of them while Bonnafon has the other one. Carolina has moved the chains via the ground game 40 times so far this season.
Green Bay Packers Run Defense
Green Bay's defense had their struggles containing the run game of the opposition in the first four games this season. After holding the Bears to just 47 yards on 22 carries in the opener, things went downhill for the Packers. Green Bay allowed Minnesota to run the ball 27 times for 198 yards and a score in week 2 and followed that up by seeing Denver run 38 times for 149 yards and two scores in week 3. Against the Eagles in week 4, the Packers were gouged for 176 yards and two scores on 33 carries. Green Bay gave up 122 yards on the ground to the Cowboys in week five before stifling the Lions as they held Detroit to only 56 yards last in week six. The Packers regressed in week seven as they gave up 31 carries for 155 yards in the contest against the Raiders. Green Bay held Kansas City to 20 carries for 88 yards in their triumph in week eight but struggled against the Chargers last week, allowing 38 carries for 159 yards.
Blake Martinez leads the Packers with 95 tackles (57 solo) plus a forced fumble on the season. Safety Adrian Amos (50 tackles) and linebacker Preston Smith (35 tackles, forced fumble), along with cornerback Kevin King (38 tackles, forced fumble) and Will Redmond (33 tackles) are among the team’s tackle leaders. Za’Darius Smith (33 tackles) leads the team with 8.5 tackles for loss while Preston Smith has 7.5 and Martinez contributes 4.5 this season. As a team, the Packers have recorded 34 tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries on the season.
- 16th in run play percentage (40.50 percent)
- 15th in rushing attempts per game (26.1)
- 7th in rushing yards per game (132.9)
- 3rd in yards per carry (5.1)
- Tied for 1st in rushing TD (13)
- Tied for 3rd in longest rush (84 yards)
- 23rd in percentage of run plays against (42.71 percent)
- 19th in run plays per game against (27)
- 24th in rushing yards allowed per game (127.7)
- 25th in opposing yards per carry (4.7)
- Tied for 26th in rushing TD allowed (10)
- 26th in longest rush allowed (75 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Carolina is going to run the ball early and often in this one. McCaffrey has been dynamic as the workhorse back and it's clear that he is the focal point for the Panthers' offense. Facing a Green Bay defense that has been beaten up by the run game is a nice boost for Carolina. The Packers were just gashed by a Chargers' run game that had run for less than 40 yards in four consecutive games before last week. That's more than enough to give the Panthers the advantage in this one.
Advantage: Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers Running Offense
Carolina Panthers Running Defense
Green Bay Packers Running Offense
Green Bay’s run game struggled in the first quarter of the season and they’re still trying to be more consistent in the ground game. The Packers cracked the century mark just once and averaged more than four yards per carry only one time in their first four games. Green Bay was stifled in the opener, running the ball 21 times for 47 yards against the Bears. The Packers had a season-high 144 yards plus a score on 33 carries against the Vikings. Green Bay ran 23 times for 77 yards and two scores against Denver in week 3 and 20 times for 77 yards and a touchdown against Philadelphia in week 4. The Packers ran the ball 29 times for 120 yards and four scores against Dallas before adding 29 carries for 170 yards against Detroit in week six. Against the Raiders in week seven, the team regressed to previous form as they ran the ball 23 times for only 60 yards. The Packers ran the ball 26 times for 118 yards against the Chiefs but ran 11 times for a season-low 45 yards against the Chargers last week.
Aaron Jones is the leading ground gainer for the Packers though his numbers are hardly impressive. He has 122 carries for 496 yards and eight touchdowns on the season. Jamaal Williams has 52 carries for 228 yards plus a score while Aaron Rodgers has 26 rushing attempts for 102 yards and a score on the season. As a team, the Packers have just one run play that covered at least 20 yards. Green Bay has mustered only 45 first downs via the ground game this season.
Carolina Panthers Run Defense
Carolina has struggled to slow down the run game of opposing offenses this season. The Panthers have allowed seven of their eight opponents to run for at least 100 yards against them this season. Six times in their eight games, the opposition has run for at least 4.8 yards per carry with five teams averaging better than five yards a pop this season. The Panthers have struggled in the last month as three of their four games have seen the opposition go over the century mark. That was highlighted by the 232 yards and five scores that the 49ers put up on them two weeks ago. Last week, the Panthers gave up 21 carries for 121 yards and two scores to the Titans.
Luke Kuechly leads the team with 78 tackles (44 solo) on the season. Shaq Thompson (69 tackles), Eric Reid (56 tackles, forced fumble, two fumble recoveries), James Bradberry (35 tackles) and Tre Boston (33 tackles) help round out the top five in terms of stops for the Panthers’ defense this season. Thompson and Mario Addison (15 tackles, forced fumble) each have seven tackles for loss this season. Kuechly adds five while Brian Burns (15 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery, TD), Gerald McCoy (19 tackles), Vernon Butler (11 tackles, three forced fumbles) and Bruce Irvin (13 tackles, fumble recovery) each have 4.5 tackles for loss on the year. As a team, the Panthers have 56 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and one scoop-six this season.
- 20th in run play percentage (38.99 percent)
- 21st in rushing attempts per game (24)
- 22nd in rushing yards per game (95.3)
- 20th in yards per carry (four)
- Tied for 8th in rushing TD (10)
- Tied for 16th in longest rush (45 yards)
- 10th in percentage of run plays against (38.72 percent)
- 17th in run plays per game against (26.4)
- 26th in rushing yards allowed per game (133.4)
- 31st in opposing yards per carry (5.1)
- 32nd in rushing TD allowed (14)
- 14th in longest rush allowed (48 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Green Bay hasn't run the ball all that well this season. The Packers have to be better with the run game and are coming off their worst game of the season on the ground. Carolina's run defense has been leaky as they have been carved up on a weekly basis this season. The Panthers have given up the most rushing scores in the league this season and it could be a good day to use Jones and Williams on a heavier basis than we've seen this season. Give Green Bay a slight advantage here.
Advantage: Green Bay Packers
The Passing Game
Carolina Panthers Passing Offense
vs. Green Bay Packers Passing Defense
Carolina Panthers Passing Offense
Carolina hasn’t had to lean on the pass as much as some other teams have had to this season, mainly due to their ability to do damage on the ground. The Panthers have just one 300-yard passing game this season with that coming back in week two against Tampa Bay, when they threw for 333 yards. Since Cam Newton went out prior to week three, the passing game has been efficient but hardly overwhelming. The Panthers have not thrown for more than 261 yards in any of their last six games: last week against the Titans, Carolina threw for 232 yards in a win.
Kyle Allen is 116 of 191 passing for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions on the year. He has been sacked 20 times for 165 yards in losses this season. Cam Newton was 50 of 89 for 572 yards with no touchdowns and one interception while getting sacked six times for 43 yards in losses. DJ Moore leads the team with 45 receptions for 564 yards and a score on the year. McCaffrey contributes 42 receptions for 363 yards and three touchdowns on the year while Samuel (30 grabs, 407 yards, three TD) and Greg Olsen (27 catches, 331 yards, two TD) are solid secondary targets. Carolina has 20 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Samuel leads the team with seven such plays while Moore and Olsen each have four this season.
Green Bay Packers Passing Defense
Green Bay was active in free agency trying to find new pieces for the defensive side of the ball and it has helped pay dividends in the pass rush. The Packers were solid in the first quarter of the season as they didn’t allow more than 230 yards through the air in any game this season. Green Bay allowed 228 yards to the Bears in the opener while keeping Chicago out of the end zone. The Packers gave up 230 yards to Minnesota in week 2 and 213 yards to Denver in week 3. Against the Eagles in week 4, Green Bay gave up only 160 yards through the air, though they gave up three touchdown passes while not recording a sack or interception for the first time all season. It was tougher sledding the last couple of weeks as the Packers allowed 463 yards to the Cowboys, though much of it came in garbage time, before giving up 265 yards to the Lions Monday night in week 6. In week 7 against the Raiders, Green Bay had their problems, allowing 329 yards through the air. The Packers gave up 267 yards through the air to the Chiefs and then allowed 294 yards to the Chargers in the last two weeks.
Za’Darius Smith leads the Packers with 8.5 sacks on the season. Preston Smith is next in line with eight sacks while Kenny Clark (30 tackles, forced fumble) has 1.5 sacks on the year. Jaire Alexander (30 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery) leads Green Bay with 11 pass defenses while King has eight. Amos adds four while Preston Smith, Darnell Savage (31 tackles, half-tackle for loss, forced fumble) and Tramon Williams (21 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) each have three. King leads the team with three interceptions while Savage, Preston Smith, Alexander, Chandon Sullivan (11 tackles, pass defense) and Amos each have one interception this season. As a team, the Packers have totaled 22 sacks, 39 pass defenses and eight interceptions on the year.
- 17th in pass play percentage (59.50 percent)
- 30th in completion percentage (59.1)
- 25th in passing yards per game (206.9)
- Tied for 24th in TD passes (nine)
- Tied for 9th in INT thrown (five)
- 28th in net yards per pass attempt (5.9)
- 27th in longest pass play (52 yards)
- 26th in passer rating (82.2)
- 10th in pass play percentage against (57.29 percent)
- 21st in passing yards per game allowed (255.2)
- 10th in completion percentage allowed (62.5)
- Tied for 10th in TD passes allowed (11)
- Tied for 6th in INT (eight)
- Tied for 15th in sacks (22)
- 9th in passer rating allowed (88.8)
- 26th in net yards per pass attempt (7.6)
Who has the Edge?
Carolina's passing game hasn't been as much of a factor this season as it has been in previous years. The thing of it is, it's worked for the Panthers. Allen is 5-1 as a starter this season and 6-1 as a starter in his career under center. Green Bay has had their problems with defending the pass this season but they do have a pair of stellar edge rushers in Preston and Za'Darius Smith. The secondary is pretty decent but they have to make Allen jittery. As it stands, this one is pretty even.
Green Bay Packers Passing Offense
Carolina Panthers Passing Defense
Green Bay Packers Passing Offense
The Packers have improved offensively as the season has worn on as they try to adjust to Matt LaFleur’s offensive system. Green Bay threw for 240 yards against the Bears in the season opener in a low-scoring victory. Against Minnesota in week two, the Packers threw for 209 yards and followed that up with 235 yards in a victory over Denver in week 3. In week four against the Eagles, Green Bay racked up 422 yards against the shredded Eagles’ secondary, though those numbers came in a loss. Green Bay threw for 238 yards against Dallas in week five and followed that up with 283 yards against Detroit Monday night. The Packers put up a season-high 429 yards through the air in their win over Oakland, helped by shoddy tackling and poor coverage. Against the Chiefs, Green Bay finished with 305 yards through the air for their third 300-yard game in their last five games. The Packers were held in check by the Chargers as they were limited to 161 yards last week.
Aaron Rodgers has hit 208 of 318 passes for 2,485 yards with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions this season. He has been sacked 20 times, losing 171 yards in the process. Davante Adams is second on the team with 32 receptions for 419 yards on the season: he missed four games with a toe injury before returning against the Chargers in week nine. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (22 catches, 420 yards, two TD) and Aaron Jones (team-high 35 grabs, 354 yards, three TD) are solid secondary options in the passing game this season The Packers need more from Jimmy Graham (25 catches, 251 yards, three TD) and Geronimo Allison (20 receptions, 205 yards, two TD) in order to take pressure off Adams. Green Bay has 34 pass plays that have covered at least 20 yards this season: Valdez-Scantling leads the team with seven such plays while Adams has five: Jones adds four while Graham, Allison and fullback Danny Vitale (six catches, 94 yards) each have three.
Carolina Panthers Passing Defense
Carolina was strong against the pass in the first quarter of the season but they’ve been hit harder in the last four games. The Panthers didn’t give up more than 208 yards through the air in their first four games this season. Carolina has been exposed a bit lately, giving up more than 300 yards through the air three times in the last four games, including a 400-yard game by Tampa Bay in a week six victory. On the plus side, the Panthers have been getting home with the pass rush: they have at least one sack in every game this season, including three games where they have at least six sacks.
Addison leads the team with 6.5 sacks on the year this season. Burns contributes 4.5 sacks as a rookie while Irvin contributes 3.5 sacks this year. Bradberry leads the team with nine pass defenses while Kuechly adds seven and Ross Cockrell (30 tackles) has six of his own. Bradberry and Donte Jackson (17 tackles, four pass defenses, forced fumble) each have three interceptions to lead the team while Cockrell and Kuechly each have two. Javien Elliott (22 tackles, half-sack, tackle for loss) and Tre Boston (33 tackles, four pass defenses) both have one pick on the year. As a team, the Panthers have 34 sacks, 42 pass defenses and 12 interceptions on the year.
- 13th in pass play percentage (61.01 percent)
- 11th in completion percentage (65.4)
- 12th in passing yards per game (257.1)
- Tied for 5th in TD passes (17)
- 3rd in INT thrown (two)
- 13th in net yards per pass attempt (7.3)
- 8th in longest pass play (74 yards)
- 7th in passer rating (104.3)
- 23rd in pass play percentage faced (61.28 percent)
- 9th in passing yards per game allowed (227)
- 12th in completion percentage allowed (63.7)
- Tied for 8th in TD passes allowed (10)
- 2nd in INT (12)
- 1st in sacks (34)
- 4th in passer rating allowed (77.5)
- 4th in net yards per pass attempt (6.1)
Who has the Edge?
Rodgers has been solid again this season, producing what everyone tends to expect when he's running the offense. Even missing key contributors, he's still put up solid numbers and kept his team in games this season. Carolina is very good against the pass: they lead the league in sacks and is second in the league in interceptions behind only New England. Rodgers is happy that Adams is back in the fold but it could be tough against the Carolina defense finding holes. Look for this one to be pretty even at this point in time.
The Panthers are 10th in the league in scoring offense this season as they put up an average of 26.1 points per game on the year. Carolina is 22nd in total offense as they average 339.8 yards per contest while ranking 20th in yards per play as they pick up 5.3 yards per snap. The Panthers are 21st in the league in scoring defense by allowing 25.5 points per contest. Carolina is 19th in the league in total defense by allowing 360.4 yards per game and 12th in yards per play by allowing 5.3 yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Panthers are 5th with a +6 ratio this season.
The Panthers are in the top third of the pack, ranked 9th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone as they cash in 62.50 percent of their chances. Defensively, Carolina has been miserable as they are 32nd in red zone defense by allowing 69.23 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Panthers are in the bottom tier of the pack in third down conversions, ranking 27th by converting 32.04 percent of their third down situations this season. Carolina’s defense is 19th in those situations as opposing teams have converted on 40.95 percent of their third downs. The Panthers are 21st in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 48.08 percent of the time this season.
Joey Slye has hit 20 of 22 extra points and 15 of 21 field goal attempts as a rookie this season with a long of 55 yards. Michael Palardy has averaged 46.3 yards per kick on 39 punts this season with a 41.5-yard net average. He has dropped 16 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line with only one touchback: his long boot on the year is 58 yards. Ray-Ray McCloud has averaged 21.8 yards on eight kickoff returns with a long of 31 while he averages 8.2 yards on 10 punt returns with a long of 39 this season.
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay is 13th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 25.1 points per game on the season. The Packers are 17th in the league in total offense with 352.4 yards per game and stand 15th in yards per play with 5.7 yards per snap. Green Bay is 11th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 21 points per contest. The Packers are 26th in total defense as they allow 382.9 yards per game and stand 25th as they give up 6.1 yards per play. Green Bay is tied for 3rd in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are a +7 on the season.
The Packers are 4th in red zone success as they have cashed in 67.74 percent of their drives that got inside the opposition’s 20-yard line into touchdowns. Green Bay is 6th in red zone defense as they hold opposing teams to a 48.26 percent success rate as far as scoring touchdowns goes. Green Bay is a struggling 22nd in the league in third down conversions as they have converted 36.54 percent of their situations this season. The Packers are in the middle of the pack in getting off the field as opposing teams have converted 40.57 percent of their third downs, which is 18th in the league. Green Bay is 10th in the league in time of possession as they hold the ball 51.76 percent of the time.
Mason Crosby has hit all 26 extra point attempts and 12 of 13 field goal tries with a long of 54 on the season. Punter JK Scott has boomed the ball, averaging 46.9 yards on his 35 punts with a 42.5 -yard net average. He has placed 17 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line with only two touchbacks: he did have a punt blocked by the Chargers in week nine. Tremon Smith has averaged 23.9 yards on his eight kick returns this season while Darrius Shepherd averages 16.3 yards on nine kick returns with a long of 21. Chandon Sullivan averages 16 yards on three kick returns with a long of 19 this season. On the season, the team has mustered negative eight yards on six punt returns. Tony Brown blocked an extra point against the Vikings in week 2.
Who has the Edge?
Both teams have been effective offensively this season, though it's been done in different ways. Carolina is the better run team while Green Bay is the better passing team this season. On the defensive side of the ball, you have to think that the Packers are the better team in that department, sheerly based on scoring defense. The Panthers are good against the pass but they are leaky against the run. In special teams, you have to give the advantage to Green Bay as Crosby has been terrific this season while Scott is a great punter. Slye has been decent for Carolina but it's tough with a rookie kicker to have faith. Give a slight advantage to the Packers here.
Advantage: Green Bay Packers
Carolina has gone 5-1 in their six games under Allen but the one loss was a blowout at the hands of the 49ers. In that game, he was sacked seven times and threw three interceptions. The Panthers have gone 3-1 on the road this season with their one loss that defeat to San Francisco: they own wins over Arizona, Houston and Tampa Bay. Carolina scored 37 points in two of those wins and it's going to be a challenge for them here. Green Bay is 4-1 at home this season and they have scored at least 21 points in each of their games at Lambeau Field. You have to give the Packers the upper hand in this one as they bounce back after last week's defeat.
According to Covers.com, the Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss, 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Carolina has gone 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements
Carolina has a handful of players on the injury report for this contest, which is something that bears watching. Tackle Greg Little is out with a concussion but he's the backup left tackle behind Daryl Williams. Defensively, defensive end Vernon Butler Jr is questionable with a back injury and is a game-time decision. If he can't go, Efe Obada or Wes Horton would get the start. Corner James Bradberry is questionable with a groin injury: Ross Cockrell would be elevated if he can't play.
Green Bay has three players officially marked on the injury report for this contest. Third-string tight end Robert Tonyan remains doubtful with a hip injury: he's not a major factor behind Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis. Cornerback Jaire Alexander is questionable with a groin injury and safety Adrian Amos is questionable as he deals with a hamstring issue. Chandon Sullivan and Tramon Williams are next in line at the corner spot while Will Redmond would get the start at safety.
The weather could be an impact in this game and the chilly temperatures would be a change for the Panthers. Game time temperature is expected to be in the mid-30s with a 30 to 40 percent chance of precipitation in the forecast. Winds are expected to blow from the north at 10 to 15 miles per hour. During the game, the temperature is supposed to drop down to right around 30 degrees with the winds holding steady but a chance of flurries in the forecast.
When the initial lines opened for this contest, the line was had Green Bay as a seven-point favorite with the over/under set at 48 points. As of Saturday afternoon, the line has shifted slightly as the Packers are now sitting as a 5.5-point favorite in the contest. The over/under has trended down to 47 points in this contest. Currently, the moneyline shows Green Bay as a hefty -220 to -240 favorite while the Panthers can be found as a +180 to +190 underdog depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, a solid 61 percent of the bets are backing the Packers -5.5 points. When it comes to the moneyline, a slight majority, 59 percent of the wagers, are backing the Packers as the home team. Meanwhile, 67 percent of bets are projecting this one to go over the total.
Both teams have had problems stopping the run so you have to think that McCaffrey will get a solid workload in this contest. On the other side of the equation, the Packers are going to lean on Jones and Williams to move the sticks and pound a weak Carolina front seven against the run. The difference here is the experience in the passing game: the Packers have a future Hall of Famer while the Panthers have a young guy still learning the ropes. Give Green Bay the edge here.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers -5Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
Additional Insiders' Best Bets
Full-game Total Bet
Carolina has a winning road record but, thanks to their demolition by the 49ers, have been outscored 107-104 as the visiting team this season. The Panthers are going to have to deal with a Green Bay team that plays extremely well at home. Green Bay has put up 140 points in their five home games this season and Rodgers is 69-19-1 at Lambeau Field in his career. The Packers have the weather going in their favor as well: they've put up a ton of points but will they crack the Carolina defense and do it again?
The over is 4-0 in the Panthers' last four overall, 4-0 in their last four on grass, 6-1 in their last seven in November and 5-1 in their last six against NFC opponents. Green Bay has seen the over go 4-0 in their last four after an ATS loss, 4-0 in their last four after allowing at least 150 yards on the ground in their last game and 15-5 in their last 20 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. Look for this one to end up over the mark in this contest.
Half-time Side Bet
Green Bay is at home in this contest, which works in their favor. The Packers are 4-1 at home on the year and they are a dangerous team at Lambeau Field. Carolina is 2-1 on the road this season but their one loss was a flat-out beating, 51-13, at the hands of San Francisco. The Panthers don't have the weapons to keep up with Green Bay and that's going to be the test that Allen and company have to deal with here. In the end, the Packers have the upper hand at the half.
Half-time Total Bet
Green Bay is tied for eighth in the league in first half scoring as they put up 14.1 points per game in the opening half of games. Carolina is tied for 12th in that category as they put up 11.8 points per game in the first half. Defensively, the Packers are tied for 10th in scoring defense in the opening half by allowing 10.3 points per game. Carolina is tied for 16th in that category as they allow an average of 10.9 points per contest in the opening half. Given the way the Packers can score when they're on: this one is a 17-10 type of game at the half, pushing things over the number.