If not for the return of quarterback Cam Newton, it would be quite difficult to get excited about this game.
In his first start back in a Panthers uniform, Newton threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 46 yards with an additional touchdown. The game ended in a 27-21 loss to the Washington Football Team, but it was a great first impression back.
While the Panthers are coming off a loss, the Dolphins are coming off a win, but it came against the New York Jets and Joe Flacco.
Both teams are hoping to turn a corner down the stretch. The Panthers (5-6) are a bit closer to a playoff berth than the Dolphins (4-7), but that could change this week in what the sportsbooks are deeming to be a close matchup.
Let’s dive in and sort this out.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds and lines are current as of 11 a.m. ET on Monday, November 22.
Panthers vs Dolphins Prediction
The Dolphins are coming off a win in Week 11, but they did only beat the Jets by seven points while allowing nearly 300 passing yards to Joe Flacco.
On paper, the Dolphins’ defense should be plenty better than it has been this season, but they have not lived up to the hype. Star cornerback Xavien Howard has surrendered seven touchdowns and nearly 500 yards.
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Conversely, the Panthers have actually performed well on defense overall. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore recently came back from injury and already has two interceptions. Edge rushers Haason Reddick and Brian Burns have also combined for nearly 20 sacks.
The Panthers being on the road could be a factor, but at the end of the day, the defenses are going to determine the outcome of this matchup, and I’ll side with the Panthers. Both offenses will be pretty slow to get going as evidenced by their Week 11 performances.
The Dolphins’ offensive line has trouble against any pass rush and the Miami defense may not have an answer for running back Christian McCaffrey.
Prediction: Panthers 20, Dolphins 17
Panthers vs Dolphins Best Bets
Best Bet: Panthers Moneyline (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Newton may only be making his second start since returning to the team and the Panthers are on the road, but I just have a hard time seeing how Carolina doesn’t win this game.
Remember, Newton did play for the New England Patriots and has recent experience against the Miami Dolphins. Sure, it’s a new year and team, but there are still some consistencies from year to year.
The offensive weapons also favor the Panthers, headlined by McCaffrey, but also supported by wide receiver D.J. Moore.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has played pretty well overall this season, but his pass-catchers may have trouble getting open against a talented secondary that features Gilmore and A.J. Bouye, who has also been more than competent this season.
Best Bet: Under 42.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 0.5 Units
Whenever you see a total at 42.5, it’s already easy to tell that the game should be low-scoring. And while going under 42.5 is pretty difficult in the modern NFL, that is where I’m leaning.
The Panthers may have better playmakers, but this is far from an elite offense. Meanwhile, the Dolphins may not be showing well from a production standpoint this year, but there is still plenty of talent there.
Miami does have trouble finding the end zone, though, and the rushing attack is greatly hampered by an atrocious offensive line. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle has been a bright spot and should find some openings, but this is going to be a slow and low-scoring affair.
Thanks for reading our NFL Week 12 Panthers vs Dolphins Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our Thanksgiving NFL Predictions and Best Bets.