The Panthers are coming off their first win of the season and head to the Lone Star State as four-point underdogs against the Houston Texans with a total of 46.5.
The Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals last week behind a strong performance from backup QB Kyle Allen, who may get the start again in this game with Cam Newton likely out again with a foot injury.
The Texans have won their last two games after losing their season opener to the Saints and they beat the Chargers last week 27-20 on the road.
These teams have not met since the 2015 season.
The Panthers have covered the spread in four of their last five games facing a team with a winning record, but the Texans are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games facing a team with a losing record.
Allen to the Rescue
In the Panthers 38-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals in their last game Allen stepped in for Newton and saved the day passing for 261 yards with four TD and he was not picked off. He played great in his first start but so did the Carolina defense, holding Arizona to only 248 total yards.
Christian McCaffrey, who has the 2nd most rushing yards in the league, rushed fro 153 yards and Greg Olson led the Panthers with 75 receiving yards.
Allen is in for a tough test in this game facing a Texans’ defense that had five sacks in their last game with two from J.J. Watt.
McCaffery will be leaned on in this game and in two of three games this season he has at least 128 rushing yards averaging over six yards per carry while in the other had 37 rushing yards and only averaged 2.3 yards per carry.
Take of Two Halves
In their last game the Texans were on the road beating the L.A. Chargers 27-20 where they were outscored 17-7 in the first half but outscored the Bolts 20-3 in the 2nd half.
DeShaun Watson had a big game passing for 351 yards with three TD and no picks and he had to play well since the team only rushed for 39 yards averaging just over 2.1 yards per carry.
Five players for Houston had at least 49 receiving yards and they have a solid WR corps led by Kenny Stills and DeAndre Hopkins.
Carlos Hyde led the Texans with only 19 rushing yards on 10 carries after rushing for 173 yards in his first two games.
Carolina has given up the 4th fewest yards after three games and while their pass D has been great, they have given up an average of 129 rushing yards per game. Can Hyde take advantage of that? Will Watson have to do it all on offense again? big questions for this non-conference affair.
There are no real head-to-head trends to check out for this game, but the Panthers have failed to cover in eight of their last 11 games. They are also only 2-7 ATS in their last nine games after a win.
Tough call in this one, as I think Allen will give the Panthers another boost in this game with his energy. However, will it be enough? I would say no, as the Texans have a solid defense and Watson is playing well and at home the Texans will win and cover the spread moving to 3-1 on the young season.
PICK: Texans -4