Free Week 3 Prediction: Panthers vs. Texans NFL Odds
Looking for Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans free NFL Week 3 picks & NFL odds? NFL betting sees the Panthers taking on the Texans on Thursday September 23rd at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NFL season long including all NFL Week 3 games so stay tuned for more FREE NFL predictions like this Carolina Houston matchup.
NFL Handicapping Analysis: Week 3
(2-0) Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans (1-1)
Date: Thursday, September 23rd, 2021
Time: 8:20 PM ET
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
NFL Week 3 ATS Betting Lines: Panthers -7.5
NFL Week 3 Moneyline Odds: Panthers -370 | Texans +285
NFL Week 3 NFL Betting Total: 44
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Carolina is off to a 2-0 start, and are improving every week after a 26-7 win over the Saints last week. The Panthers had played their first two games at home this season, and now have to go on the road for the 1st time of the year and on a short turnaround.
Houston hasn’t been as bad as most prognosticators thought they would be this season. They spoiled the Trevor Lawrence / Urban Meyer debut in week 1 at home and were hanging with Cleveland 14-14 at the half on Sunday before suffering a 10-point loss. This is still a tough matchup though.
Sam Darnold has picked up Joe Barry’s scheme rather quickly, completing 68.5% of his passes through the first two weeks. Darnold did just enough to beat his old team the Jets 19-14 in week 1, but was great completing 26 of 38 for 305 and 2 TDs to lead the upset of the Saints.
What was impressive about Darnold’s performance against the Saints was that this is a New Orleans team that completely shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense (229 total yards) in a 38-3 win in week 1. Houston’s defense looks improved, but Carolina has a bevy of weapons including Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, and Terrace Marshall, Jr.
The Panthers’ offense gives them a chance to win on Thursday but it’s their defense that will help them cover the -7.5. Carolina was supposed to dominate the Jets offense in week 1 which they did (252 total yards, 14 points) but it was the performance against New Orleans that has built momentum.
Jameis Winston threw 5 TDs vs. Green Bay and the Saints ran for 171 yards behind 83 by Alvin Kamara. The Panthers faced that same Saints offense last week and held Winston to 111 yards and picked him off twice while holding New Orleans to just 48 yards rushing.
Some people thought Houston would be lucky to win a game this year, losing Deshaun Watson indefinitely because of his legal situation and hiring somebody with minimal head coaching experience in David Culley.
In that regard the season sure started off well for the Texans, beating Jacksonville 37-21 and storming out of the gate to a 27-7 first half lead. Tyrod Taylor was great with 291 yards and 2 TD through the air while adding another 40 yards on the ground.
Taylor was also off to another great start vs. the Browns, hitting 10 of his first 11 passes, throwing for another one and also running in a 15-yard scramble for a score. Unfortunately for Houston fans, Taylor injured his hamstring in the 2nd quarter vs. Cleveland and did not return. He’ll have a tough time going on Thursday with it being a short week.
Houston may have to go with rookie Davis Mills in his first ever start if Taylor does not play. If the rookie is unable to sustain drives, that’s putting a lot of pressure on the Texans defense that let Baker Mayfield complete 19 of 21 passes last week and had Nick Chubb run for 95 yards on just 11 carries.
NFL Betting Trends:
- Panthers are 7-0 ATS last 7 road games
- Panthers are 4-1 ATS last 5 overall
- Panthers are 5-2 ATS last 7 in September
- Panthers are 2-5 ATS last 7 as a favorite
- Texans are 4-1 ATS last 5 overall
- Texans are 3-9 ATS last 12 Thursday games
- OVER is 7-3 in Texans last 12 Thursday games
4* Free Week 3 NFL Betting Prediction: Panthers -7.5
It doesn’t seem that Taylor would play in this one. An asset of his is mobility, which is severely limited after hurting a hamstring only 4 games prior. If Taylor would go or even if the game was on Sunday instead of Thursday the Texans would have some value, but you can’t back Mills in the primetime, even at home.
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