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Panthers Big Road Favorites Vs Texans In Week 3

Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers head to Houston to take on the Texans in Week 3

A suffocating defense has Carolina (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) tied for top spot in the NFC South going into Week 3. The Panthers have covered seven straight on the road, but they’ll be laying a big number when they visit the division rival Texans (1-1, 2-0) on Thursday Night Football.


Carolina Panthers vs Houston Texans
  • Date/Time: September 23, 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: NRG Stadium
  • TV Coverage: NFL Network
  • Opening Odds: Panthers -4.5 | O/U 44.5 (Line History)
  • Panthers vs Texans Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Panthers were listed as 4.5-point favorites last week but soared to 7.5-point chalk at most betting sites after they crushed New Orleans and Houston lost quarterback Tyrod Taylor to injury. The total saw a slighter adjustment, moving down to 43.5 at the time of writing.

Carolina News & Notes

The Panthers defence has been the best in the NFL through two weeks, ranking atop the league against the pass, against the run and in fewest points allowed. Last week, Carolina held the Saints to their fewest yards ever under head coach Sean Payton, forcing seven three-and-outs and allowing just six first downs. The Panthers’ 26-7 win marked the fifth straight game Carolina has gone UNDER the total, going back to last season.

The suffocating play of their defense has allowed the Panthers to be a bit more conservative with quarterback Sam Darnold, who is off to a 2-0 SU start in Carolina after going 13-25 as a starter with the Jets. Darnold threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns last week, although he did also throw an interception that led to the Saints’ only touchdown.

Carolina’s kicking game might be the team’s weakest link at the moment. Zane Gonzalez missed an extra point and had a field goal blocked last week in his Panthers debut after Carolina released Ryan Santoso following the season opener.

Houston News & Notes

With Taylor listed as day to day after injuring his hamstring last week against the Browns, rumors began to swirl that we might see Deshaun Watson make his 2021 debut for the Texans.

But Houston coach David Culley ruled out that possibility on Monday, noting that Watson will remain on the team’s inactive list. If Taylor can’t recover by Thursday, rookie Davis Mills would likely make his first career NFL start with Jeff Driskel as his backup.

Mills produced mixed results playing the entire second half against Cleveland, throwing for 102 yards, a touchdown and an interception but keeping Houston close enough to earn its second point spread cover in as many games.

The Texans’ passing attack was further hurt by injuries to tight end Antony Auclair and receivers Nico Collins and Danny Amendola, something to keep in mind with little time to recover on a short week.

Staff Betting Pick: Panthers -7.5

Laying over a touchdown on the road in a division game isn’t a long-term recipe for success in NFL betting, but Houston’s QB issues and a short week to prepare make it the way to play this one.

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Shark Bites
  • Carolina is 7-0 ATS in its last 7 road games.
  • The UNDER is 5-0 in Carolina’s last 5 games.
  • Houston is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games as an underdog.