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Panthers vs. Texans 2021 NFL Week 3 Odds, Preview and Pick

By Hank Blaine

The Thursday night matchup to kick off Week 3 of the NFL season features the surprising Carolina Panthers visiting the Houston Texans, who might be without starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. That obviously would affect the NFL odds.

This Panthers vs. Texans preview shares essential information, starting with basic event details, team and players statistics, and the NFL betting odds. On top of that, we provide timely betting trends and expert betting predictions that help you lock in on the best picks. Find everything you need down below. And don’t forget to check out the latest 2021 NFL odds at out online Bitcoin sportsbook.

Panthers vs. Texans Game Information

READ MORE: Bears vs. Browns 2021 NFL Week 3 Odds, Analysis and Prediction

Why Bet on the Carolina Panthers?

An early candidate for NFL Coach of the Year has to be Carolina’s Matt Rhule with his team a surprising 2-0. The Panthers were 3.5-point home underdogs in Week 2 but blasted the New Orleans Saints 26-7. Jets trade cast-off Sam Darnold completed 26-of-38 passes for 305 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Darnold looks a lot more confident with his new team. He topped 200 yards passing in the first half for the second straight week, something no Carolina quarterback had done.

Christian McCaffrey rushed 24 times for 72 yards and a touchdown, adding five receptions for 65 yards. McCaffrey missed some time with calf cramps but that won’t affect his status for Thursday.

Where Carolina looks vastly improved, though, is on defense. The Panthers held New Orleans to 128 yards, the fewest allowed in the 54-game all-time series with the Saints, and the fewest for New Orleans under head coach Sean Payton, who took over in 2006. Carolina recorded four sacks and had two interceptions. The Panthers’ 10 sacks in the season’s first two weeks are second-most through two games in franchise history (12, 1998).

The Panthers pressured Saints quarterback Jameis Winston on 18 of his 28 dropbacks (64%), the third-highest pressure rate for any NFL team since 2009. It was the highest pressure rate Winston has ever faced. Carolina has held opponents to 25 percent on third down, best in the league. Last year, the Panthers ranked 31st on third-down at 49 percent. They also have allowed just 93 rush yards so far, the fewest ever in the first two games of a season for the franchise.

After beating Jacksonville in Week 1, the Texans came back to earth with a 31-21 loss in Cleveland on Sunday. Taylor left with a hamstring injury and was replaced by rookie quarterback Davis Mills to start the second half.

Through the first two quarters, Taylor completed 10-of-11 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and a 144.3 passer rating. Taylor also scored on a 15-yard touchdown run to give Houston a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. Coach David Culley did not rule Taylor out for Thursday and said the team didn’t know the severity of the injury other than “it was severe enough that he couldn’t play in the second half.”

Mills completed 8-of-18 passes for 102 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his debut.

“I thought he did very well when he got in the game,” Culley said. “Obviously he got us a touchdown there. He had very few reps at all with our first group. And I expected him to do well. He had the pick early, but he came back, did what Davis normally does and just goes to the next play and goes from there.”

Why Bet on the Houston Texans?

Houston didn’t have a first- or second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and took Mills with its initial selection in the third round. He completed 129-of-195 passes for 1,508 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions in a pandemic-shortened season for Stanford last year.

Of course, the Texans still have Deshaun Watson on the roster but have kept him inactive each of the first two games because of those off-field issues. When asked if Watson could play this week, Culley said: “We’ll have to see.” It would be pretty shocking if Watson plays.

Receivers Danny Amendola and Nico Collins both also left Sunday’s game injured. Amendola had one catch for nine yards and left with a hamstring injury. Collins caught one pass for 32 yards and suffered a shoulder injury.

Carolina is 3-2 all-time vs. Houston. The last meeting was in 2019 also in Houston and the Panthers won 16-10. McCaffrey rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown. Watson threw for just 160 yards.

Panthers vs. Texans Betting Trends

  • Panthers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games.
  • Panthers are 4-9 SU in the last 13 games.
  • The total went under in 5 of Carolina’s last 5 games.
  • Texans are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games.
  • Texans are 1-6 SU in the last 7 games.
  • The total went over in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games.

Panthers vs. Texans Expert Betting Predictions

Pick: Panthers 26, Texans 20

Check out our latest sports betting guides for the 2021 NFL Regular Season. Stay tuned for more Football previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest Football betting odds at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.