The third week of the NFL season kicks off tonight with the Carolina Panthers (-8) taking on the Houston Texans (+8).
Perhaps the biggest story heading into this game is the injury to Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who has been placed on injured reserve. Taking his place will be rookie Davis Mills. Taylor has been the recipient of what many consider extreme misfortune, as he has been given several starting opportunities throughout his career that ultimately resulted in replacement due to injury.
What’s notable is the Carolina Panthers opened at (-4.5) favorites, but the public has pounded them all the way down to (-8). While Houston’s quarterback injury is a significant reason why, many did not expect the Panthers to demolish the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. It is also worth mentioning that the Panthers have covered 7 straight games on the road. Another tidbit – the Panthers, though just 2 weeks, have demonstrated that they have the most effective defense in the league, allowing the fewest points per game.
The Houston Texans did win their Week 1 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but many regard the Texans as one of the worst teams in the NFL. The departure of superstar J.J. Watt coupled with the fiasco surrounding Deshaun Watson provide Texans fans with little to look forward to this season.
A few other trends to consider: the Under has hit in the last 5 games for Carolina, while the Texans have covered in each of their last 4 games as an underdog. The over/under for this game sits at a whopping 43, so Vegas is certainly not anticipating a shootout.
Our pick: The Texans (+8) and Under (43) are both enticing, as we expect a low-scoring affair and overall close game.