Broncos vs. Panthers NFL Week 12 Best Bets: Last Chance for a Carolina Win?

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Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP.

Two teams that may be looking at their last best chance to record a win this regular season will be squaring off in Charlotte in Week 12 when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers.

The Broncos’ orange D logo with a bucking horse inside is very similar to the logo of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team, with a charging bull replacing the bronco.

This has spurred a social media feud in which the Bulls take great pride in pointing out that they’ve won more games since the start of October (2) than the Broncos (1), despite the fact that their season ended Oct. 2.

The Broncos have a chance to even that record in the Bulls’ home state, against a Panthers team that has also run into hard times. Already on their second coach of the season, Carolina may be trotting out its 3rd different starting quarterback for the game.

What does this all mean for your NFL picks? Let’s find out.

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Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

Sunday, November 27, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Bank of America Stadium

World of Suck

Three years ago, then Bronco Emmanuel Sanders described the team as being in a “world of suck” and that phrase seems to have been reborn for this season.

Denver has lost 6 of 7 games, 3 of them in overtime, and failed to reach 20 points in 5 of the last 6 (they managed 21 in the 6th). The offseason trade for quarterback Russell Wilson has been a dud, and coach Nathaniel Hackett has struggled in his first year on the job.

With Denver last in the NFL in scoring and red-zone offense and second to last in third-down conversions and goal-line offense, Hackett reportedly gave up play-calling duties. That may be a precursor to a change at head coach, as Hackett has had problems in late-game situations with clock management and questionable play calling.

The Broncos have lost 6 games by a touchdown or less, including the 3 in overtime. The team also cut leading rusher Melvin Gordon after Sunday’s game, when Gordon fumbled for the 5th time this year.

That likely won’t help an offense that is managing just 14.6 ppg, the lowest average for any team this late in the season since 1966.

Are Injuries Affecting the Offensive?

The offense is also missing a pair of injured receivers.

Jerry Jeudy has an ankle injury, while K.J. Hamler has a hamstring problem.

Both missed last week’s game. Hamler is expected to “miss a few weeks” according to Hackett. Jeudy will be monitored throughout the week.

Running back Chase Edmonds hurt his ankle in the Raiders' loss and is expected to miss several weeks.

Revolving Door

After managing just 3 points in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week, the Panthers may be considering yet another quarterback change.

Carolina started the season with new acquisition Baker Mayfield, but he was ranked at the bottom of the NFL in accuracy and passer rating when he hurt his ankle and went to the bench.

Career backup P.J. Walker replaced him and served as a game manager for the most part until he suffered an ankle injury of his own. That gave Mayfield the starting job back, and he produced the three-point dud in his return on Sunday.

That leaves Sam Darnold, who was last season’s starter, battled injury, and struggled to perform, forcing the team to go out and acquire Mayfield in the first place. He’s back from starting the year on IR and may be back in the starting role again on Sunday. Interim head coach Steve Wilks has not yet named his starter for the Broncos game.

What Is the Main Problem?

The main problem is that the Panthers are choosing between 3 guys who have gone a combined 9-16 as starters for the Panthers, with a combined 70.3 passer rating with 20 touchdowns and 30 interceptions for the team.

Needless to say, the team has been leaning on its defense and a running game that has been surprisingly productive until struggling to a 36-yard day in Baltimore last week.

Final Picks

It’s not easy to decide which team is in a worse spot at this point in the season.

The Broncos appear to be reeling, cutting one of their most productive players and with a head coach barely clinging to his job.

The Panthers are stable on defense and can use the run game to shorten a game that promises to be a Thanksgiving weekend turkey.

Following the NFL odds, let's go with the Panthers. For residents of Charlotte looking to bet on this game, you can check out our top North Carolina betting sites.

NFL Pick: Panthers +2.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Panthers +2.5 (-108)
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NFL Pick: Under 35.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Under 35.5 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.