The weekend before Christmas is good for one reason: Saturday night football. The NFL has always put football on Saturday night because of a lack of college football. This weekend, which typically only has a bowl game or two at night, has conference championships. In other words, it’s not ideal for the NFL, but nothing about this year has been ideal.
The college football games, especially the SEC Championship, should steal some viewers away from the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers. There is also an early game in the NFL between the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos at Mile High in Colorado. Whether you prefer college football or the NFL, there is going to be no shortage of options on Saturday.
College football has been a bit of a jumbled up mess because of Covid-19 this season, so most of my attention will be on the NFL. It has felt more “normal”, which is to be expected with professionals who are doing this for a living. That said, I do have four college football picks on my card, with three for conference championships, including the SEC Championship.
The Carolina Panthers are simply trying to finish out this season strong. They are a 4-9 football team going into Lambeau Field in Green Bay tonight. The Teddy Bridgewater experiment in Carolina has been so-so. He’s been a nice filler for the Panthers until they try to find a franchise quarterback. Bridgewater is not that, but he doesn’t make the Panther a terrible team. The Panthers are coming off a 32-27 loss at home against the Broncos.
They’re losers in seven of their previous eight games, with their only win during that stretch against the Detroit Lions, 20-0. Any confidence they built up early this season is long gone. They’re over this season and are looking ahead to the offseason, though the Packers are winners in five of their last six games and sport a record of 10-3. The NFC North is clinched, and now it’s about earning the No. 1 seed over the New Orleans Saints. We also have a pick available for this matchup tonight. Head below for our free Panthers vs. Packers props for December 19, 2020.
Your Saturday night plans: ⬇️
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2020
Aaron Rodgers Pass Completions
Aaron Rodgers is in a dead heat with Patrick Mahomes for the MVP award. Along with getting his team the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which is the most important accolade, Rodgers is looking to get enough votes to win the MVP. His numbers certainly back it up. Rodgers has passed for 3,685 yards with 39 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 69.6% completions. He has proven that he’s far from washed up, and might have another Super Bowl in him before he retires.
Rodgers has passed for 796 passing yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions. He has been on fire and showing no signs of slowing down. Rodgers has completed at least 25 passes in three of his previous four outings, and at least 25 in five of his previous seven games. The Panthers have not been terrific against the pass. They’ve allowed 250.8 passing yards a game to rank in the back half of the league. I’m on Rodgers to record 25 or more passes on Saturday night.
Teddy Bridgewater Rushing Yards
Teddy Bridgewater’s best asset is his ability to move around in the pocket and gain yards with his legs if the pocket breaks down. He is far from a statue in the pocket. Bridgewater lost some of his speed after his injury, but can still scramble if the occasion calls for it. Through 12 games, Bridgewater has passed for 3,102 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
He has rushed for 239 yards on 40 attempts for 6 yards per carry. Bridgewater has done most of his damage on the ground when he’s scrambling. He has gained at least 14 yards on the ground in four of his previous five games, and in five of the last seven. Bridgewater ran for 31 yards and a touchdown on 3 carries last week against the Broncos. This total of 13.5 appears to be too low. The value is on the OVER for Bridgewater to rush for at least 14 yards.
Devante Adams Receiving Yards
Devante Adams continues to go wild for the Packers in 2020. After missing some time with a nagging injury, Adams waited patiently for his return and until he was back to 100%. He wasn’t risking anything. Adams was worth the wait, as he has been giving secondary’s non-stop headaches. Despite not playing a full season, Adams has caught 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns through 11 games.
Adams has gained more than 100 yards in six games this season. He’s coming off back-to-back 100+ yard games, with 121 yards against the Eagles and 115 yards against the Lions. Note that Adams has gone over 100 yards in three of the last four games, including four of the previous six. Like I noted above, the Panthers secondary is beatable, as they’ve allowed just over 250 yards per game through the air. This looks like another spot where Adams goes off.