Let’s take a look at the current sports betting odds, key storylines to watch, and make a prediction for the game. Note that all odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Panthers vs. Seahawks Odds
Seahawks -195, Panthers +165
Panthers vs. Seahawks Prediction
The Panthers — coming off of their bye week — enter this game with a 4-8 record. The fact that they have at least that positive of a record, considering everything that’s transpired already this season, is an incredible achievement.
Matt Rhule was relieved of his duties earlier this year, and Steve Wilks has righted the ship, particularly on defense, over the past several weeks. On top of that, the Panthers have turned back to Sam Darnold as their starting QB, who showed that he can execute the offense in their last outing against Denver’s stout defense.
Carolina will have a bit easier of a day in this matchup against a Seahawks defense that’s allowing the 13th-most passing yards and the second-most rushing yards per game this season. Darnold should have plenty of opportunity to connect with DJ Moore, and we should see Carolina lean heavily on D’Onta Foreman in a favorable matchup this week.
The key for Carolina winning this game though falls on the defense. Over their last three games, Carolina has allowed the second-fewest passing yards behind only Atlanta. Wilks has done a fantastic job of keeping this young defense engaged in a lost season.
They’ll have a tough task this week going up against the Seahawks and their top-10 passing offense, however. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have been difficult to defend league-wide in recent weeks, and Geno Smith has experienced a career rejuvenation unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
If the pass defense can clamp down — combined with all the injuries Seattle is dealing with in their RB room right now — Carolina has a solid chance of walking away with a victory this week.
As for Seattle, they now have a chance to make a play for the division title in the NFC West. Unfortunately, the San Francisco 49ers just lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the remainder of the year with a foot injury.
With the 49ers being just one game ahead of the Seahawks — and now having to rely on a third-string QB — there’s a chance for Seattle to pull even and take control of the division. That means though that they’ll need to execute in this matchup against an opponent that isn’t going to make life easy on them.
The Panthers have a defense loaded with young talent that’s playing well recently. Smith and the passing game are going to need to be sharp this week to handle the matchup, especially if the Seahawks are going to be rolling out their third or fourth-string running backs.
The key for Seattle winning this matchup certainly involves executing on offense, but it also involves shoring things up in the run defense department. The Seahawks are currently allowing the second-most rushing yards per game this season. Only Houston is allowing more, and the Panthers have a run game that can take advantage.
If Seattle can contain Carolina in that department, everything else should be enough for them to walk away with a victory in this one and potentially put themselves in play to take over the NFC West.
Panthers vs. Seahawks Prediction
Panthers 23, Seahawks 20