Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans Pick ATS
Carolina Panthers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS)
NFL Week 3
When: TNF, September 23th, 2021 8:20PM ET
TV: NFL Network
Opening Line: Car -4.5/Hou +4.5
Point Spread: Car -7.5/Hou +7.5 (MyBookie - Use promo code: PREDICT100 to receive a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $50 to $300!)
Total: 43.5 (Opened at 44)
Takeaways From Week 1 and 2
The Panthers are 2-0, which may make them sound better than they really are. Coming into the 2021 NFL season, I expected the Panthers to have a mediocre to bad defense. The jury is still out, as beating up on the lowly Jets and Saints “led” by Jameis Winston is no indicator of strength!
After hearing all off-season how the Houston could potentially go winless this season, the Texans have actually looked pretty decent beating the Jaguars handily and hanging in against a TOUGH Browns team.
How the Public is Betting the Panthers vs. Texans Game
58% of the general betting public are picking the Houston Texans to cover the point spread. I don’t have stats to draw from, but when the public (squares) are siding with an underdog, the favorite is usually a pretty good bet more times than not.
As of Monday afternoon, the over is getting hit to the tune of 67%. Sharp bettors are siding with the under 43.5, as evidenced by the half point drop from the opening line, despite 2/3 of the bets siding with the opinion that the game will be high scoring.
Carolina and Houston don’t meet very often so the head-to-head data isn’t something worth factoring in to our handicapping. For those interested in hearing about it anyway, these two clubs met in Houston in 2019 and had a low scoring affair where the Panthers won 16-10. Prior to a couple years ago, the teams hadn’t met since 2015 where the Panthers beat Houston 24-17 at Bank of America Stadium. The next matchup dates all the way back to 2011 which is completely irrelevant.
Panthers: LG Pat Elflein left last week’s game vs. the Saints with a hamstring injury. He’s already been listed as OUT for Week 3.
Texans: QB Tyrod Taylor came up lame on his touchdown run in Cleveland. The injury is being described as a mild hamstring pull. Taylor told coaches he wanted to go back into the game (he was playing pretty well) but the team opted to go with rookie signal caller Davis Mills instead. Taylor is listed as OUT for Week 3.
Wide receiver Nico Collins left last week’s game vs. the Browns with a shoulder injury. His status is questionable as of Monday afternoon.
Will Deshawn Watson Play in Week 3 if Tyrod Taylor Can’t Go?
Nope. Not happening. Team Brass has already stated he won’t be activated despite the status of Tyrod Taylor. The Texans seem content to keep him sidelined, despite the NFL not placing any restrictions on Watson, who currently has 22 active lawsuits against him for sexual misconduct. The team is still standing firm with hopes of receiving up to 6 draft picks in exchange for dual threat quarterback. Make that a triple threat if there’s women around!
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Scouting Report on Davis Mills
I spent some time watching his college highlights and this is what I derived. He’s smart. Stanford doesn’t allow dumb students, so he has this going for him. He’s big. He stands 6’4″ and has a good arm. He’s comfortable in the pocket, not afraid to get hit and is willing to move out of the pocket if pressured. I think he can be a decent quarterback because all the tools are there.
- The Panthers are 4-12-1 in their last 17 games as a road favorite.
- Carolina is 0-6 ATS in their last six Thursday Night Football games.
- The UNDER has gone 5-0 ATS in the last five Panthers games.
- The UNDER is 5-1 in the Panthers last six road games as a road favorite.
- Houston is 4-0 ATS in their last four games as an underdog.
- Hou is 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
It’s always sunny in Philadelphia Houston! Game time temps are expected to be in the mid 70’s with 4mph winds.
Handicapping the Panthers/Texans Game
How good are the 2-0 Panthers? Their defensive numbers appear to be off the charts, however, they’re not all that impressive when you consider they beat up an injury ridden, inexperienced, BAD New York Jets team and then clocked a Saints team who also had tons of key players out with injuries. It’s tough to tell how good this team really is, but I’m not buying into them being good.
As noted above, Davis Mills looks like a decent signal-caller. He just lacks experience. It’s not fair to judge him based on stepping into the middle of a road game at Cleveland against a monster defensive line featuring a tenacious Myles Garrett. His stat line read 8-18, however, that’s not really that bad considering the defense knew passes were coming because Houston was playing from behind.
Houston is likely to protect their young prospect from getting killed behind a poor offensive line and also protect his confidence. I expect a TON of rushing attempts by their four-headed running back by committee (Mark Ingram, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, Rex Burkhead) along with a bunch of dumpoffs/short passes to the slot WR and running backs.
The Panthers will also run the ball a ton as they feature one of the best ball carriers in the NFL in Christian McCaffrey.
I have not a clue who will cover the spread in this game, but with all the rushing attempts projected here, I’m predicting a lower scoring game than most expect, as we’ll see a running clock most of the game. With the average NFL play going off at around 28 seconds, neither of these teams are quick to get plays off and I think we’ll see an even slower pace Sunday. With that being said, my bet on this game would be the under 43.5.
Another angle I like for this slog of a game is that most Thursday night games are lesser scoring due to the short week. Teams don’t have the same time to prepare as a normal week and I don’t forsee it being a problem in Week 3, but fatigue can be a factor.
Kevin’s Pick to Cover the Spread
I won’t be betting the spread here. If forced to make a pick on which team cashes a betting ticket, my lean is to the Houston Texans plus the points. The media pushing the Davis Mills looked horrible last week will leave a bad taste in bettors’ mouthes and give the impression that the Texans will lay down and let the Panthers and their big name RB walk all over them, which isn’t the case. These are NFL players who have pride and who will be playing in front of their home crowd. Again, I won’t be betting the side here, as I have a personal rule that I NEVER bet on public backed underdogs.
My bet on this Week 3 Thursday Night Football stinker will be the UNDER 43.5 and I’ll be grabbing that as soon as I’m done writing this article because I expect it to drop even more prior to kickoff. Good luck!
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