Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans: 9/23/21 NFL Picks and Predictions
Houston Texans (1-1) vs Carolina Panthers (2-0)
Game Info: Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 8:20 pm (NRG Stadium)
Betting Odds: Houston Texans +7.5 -- Over/Under: 44 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans kick off Week 3 of the NFL season on Thursday night at NRG Stadium. When these two teams faced off in 2019 and the Panthers won 16-10.
The Panthers might be the most surprising team in the NFL so far this season, They have won their first two games of the season including the last game against the New Orleans Saints 26-7. Sam Darnold struggled to start his career with the New York Jets, but the new team is serving him well. Darnold is completing 68.5 percent of his passes for 584 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Christian McCaffrey is still the center point of his offense and he has 170 yards on the ground and 154 yards through the air. The Panthers defense has been a turnover machine picking off three passes already this season.
On the other side of this matchup is the Houston Texans who are going through a rebuild, and now are forced to turn to their rookie quarterback. The Texans currently sit with a 1-1 record and Tyrod Taylor had been playing well, but he suffered a hamstring injury, and now will miss multiple weeks. Deshaun Watson won’t be active for this game, and instead the team will turn to rookie quarterback Davis Mills. Mills completed 8 of his 18 passes for 102 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Mark Ingram II had 40 rushing attempts for 126 yards and a touchdown. On defense, the Texans gave up 31 points and if they want a chance in this game, they need the defense to be good.
Carolina is 7-0 against the spread in their last seven road games. The Texans are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games as an underdog. The under is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings. The underdog is 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings between the Panthers and Texans.
I love the way that Darnold has played this year, and even on the road, he is going to continue the success. I also expect some struggles by Mills in this game against the Panthers' defense. Look for the Panthers to cover the spread and for Darnold to throw at least two touchdowns.