It’s a must-win game for the Panthers Sunday, as a loss to cellar-dwelling Washington would effectively eliminate them from playoff contention. One more Saints’ win or Panthers’ loss would cling the NFC South for the Saints, so the Panthers only realistic path goes through the Wild Card. But three games back with only five left to play, the Panthers have no remaining wiggle room.
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Washington is coming off their second win of the season, a 19-16 field-goal-a-thon in which the Lions missed a 38-yard attempt and Washington went 4-for-4. A win is a win, but the Lions are one of just three teams that are already mathematically eliminated, so this is an unimpressive a win as they come. Washington has definitely improved throughout the season, as their defense has risen all the way to 21st in DVOA – still bad, but close to average! Their offense, however, remains among the worst in the league. RB Derrius Guice has underwhelmed in his return, the offensive line can’t buy the QB any time (those two are probably related), and they are missing several of their best skill players.
Panthers’ RB Christian McCaffrey still leads the NFL in touches, and he has more than 130 yards from scrimmage in all but two games, both against the Buccaneers. The offense mostly runs through him, as he’s accounted for 81% of the Panthers’ rushing yards and 27% of their receptions. Yet, despite all his dominance, the team is reeling, having lost four out of his last five. That said, three of those losses were to teams currently leading their divisions. They have one of the best pass defenses – ranking in the top-10 in DVOA, yards allowed per attempt, and touchdowns allowed – but they’ve struggled to stop the run. A matchup against Washington’s offensive line should present an opportunity for the Panthers’ run defense to get back on track.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Washington at Panthers
Point Spread: Washington +10
Total Points: 39.5
Money Line: Panthers +400; Washington -500
Overall: Washington 2-9; Panthers 5-6
ATS: Washington 4-7; Panthers 5-6
O/U: Washington 4-7; Panthers 7-4
- Washington RB Adrian Peterson (toe) will play. He was limited on Wednesday and missed Thursday’s practice, but practiced in full on Friday.
- Washington RB Chris Thompson (toe) is questionable after having been limited in practice all week.
- Washington WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) is out.
- Panthers’ RB Jordan Scarlett (knee, ankle) is available, though he did not practice at all this week.
- Panthers’ WR Curtis Samuel (knee) will play. He was limited on Wednesday, but practiced in full Thursday and Friday.
Notable Prop Bets
Dwayne Haskins to throw over 0.5 interceptions -286; Total successful field goals (both teams combined) over 3.5 +112
Christian McCaffrey to score and Panthers to win -286; Christian McCaffrey to have more receiving yards than Terry McLaurin (+111); Parlay Panthers money line and over +128
- Washington has lost 10 of their last 11 games against NFC opponents.
- Washington has covered the spread in each of their last four games as underdogs following a win.
- Seven of Washington’s last eight games have gone under the total points line.
- Christian McCaffrey has scored the first touchdown in four of the Panthers’ last five Sunday games as favorites.
- Curtis Samuel has scored at least one touchdown in four of the Panthers’ last six Sunday games as home favorites.
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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for details.