Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

The Carolina Panthers are a good bet at home as of late, going 10-4-2 against the spread over the last two seasons, 7-2-2 ATS as home chalk. The Houston Texans, meanwhile, went 5-2-1 ATS on the road last year. In what looks to be a good battle between evenly matched teams, the Panthers tangle with the Texans Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Point spread: Panthers opened as 4.5-point favorites; the total was 41.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 23.4-20.3 Panthers

Why the Texans can cover the spread

Coming off a season-opening 27-20 loss at home to Kansas City, the Texans, after finishing 9-7 last season, will be looking to even their record at 1-1. Houston fell behind, 27-6, Sunday, thanks in large part to a pair of Brian Hoyer turnovers inside its own red zone, both of which the Chiefs turned into touchdowns.

The Texans rallied to within one score in the waning moments, but an onside kick failed. By the end, Houston had outrushed and outgained Kansas City; it just couldn’t overcome those two early turnovers..

If the Texans can eliminate the mistakes and the short fields that come with them, get the running game going and make a big play or two on defense, they could win this game outright.

Why the Panthers can cover the spread

Carolina is 1-0 both straight up and ATS, after taking care of business at Jacksonville last week, 20-9, covering as a three-point road favorite. The Panthers didn’t do anything special; they ran the ball 35 times for only 105 yards but held the ball for over 34 minutes and won the turnover battle, 3-1.

The big play came when Carolina cornerback Josh Norman jumped a sideline route, picked off a Blake Bortles pass and returned it 30 yards for a third-quarter touchdown that put the Panthers up, 17-9.

Carolina finished last season with a four-game winning streak and added one to that run last week. If the Panthers can get their running game going Sunday, play their normal tough defense and get a few good throws out of Cam Newton, they could run that home streak to six, with points enough to spare for the cover.

Smart pick

NFL football can be a fickle game to pick, and sometimes the smart choice is the one that goes against the grain. Carolina won on the road last week, while Houston lost at home. So wouldn’t it make perfect betting sense to take the Texans in this spot?.

Betting trends

The Texans are 1-12 SU in their last 13 games as road underdogs.

The Panthers are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games against the AFC South.

The Panthers are 12-1 SU in their last 13 games as home favorites.

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.VA. –Tom Savage will get the start Wednesday night for the Houston Texans as they open the preseason against the Carolina Panthers as the former backup tries to establish himself as the defending AFC South champions’ new QB1.

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Rookie backup Deshaun Watson will play extensively, followed by third quarterback Brandon Weeden.

“Tom’s going to start the game,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “Deshaun and Brandon will play.”

As for how much time the quarterbacks will play, O’Brien was noncommittal.

“You have no idea how the game’s going to play out,” he said. “How long is this drive? How long is that drive? You have to play it by ear relative to how the game goes.”

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Savage has taken every snap with the first-team offense during training camp. He needs all the repetitions he can get because he’s started only two games in his first three seasons. O’Brien expects a sharp night.

“Good operation of the offense,” O’Brien said about what he wants to see from the offense. “Take care of the football. Getting in and out of the huddle quickly. From all three of them, just a clean game, a clean operation. Everybody on the same page, and see if we can score some points.”

O’Brien said having Savage and Weeden has been good for Watson’s development.

“Absolutely,” he said. “When Deshaun has a question, (they) can help him, not just the coach. That’s what these guys do. Tom and Brandon have done a really good job with Deshaun of kind of giving him their own insight into the offense, which is good to see.”

H2H results Carolina Panthers vs Houston Texans Live Score

Even though the trip to Carolina is for only a preseason game, Savage expects a lot from himself.

“I think just consistency,” he said. “Ultimately, we’ve got to score points. That’s what I want to accomplish on Wednesday and then protect the ball.”

Like his teammates and coaches, Savage is eager to begin the preseason schedule.

“Yeah, I know our offense and defense are kind of getting on each other’s nerves right now,” he said. “It’ll be good to take it out on someone else.

Savage enjoys working with the other quarterbacks, Watson and Weeden.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “We’re always communicating with each other. That’s what we want to see. That’s the name of this game. We want to win games and by that, you’ve got to have good leadership in that room, and we’ve got to be a tight-knit room.”

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