Welcome to Thursday Night football! Tonight we see the matchup of the Carolina Panthers (2-0) at the Houston Texans (1-1). Here will give your betting analysis and where the best place to invest your money.
- Open: O/U 43.5 CAR -4.5
- Current: O/U 43 CAR -8
- Betting consensus: 52% CAR -8
As we can see from the betting action and line movement, there has been heavy money flow on the Carolina Panthers. We are seeing this with the announcement that Tyrod Taylor won't be available for this matchup...
Rookie starting QB
Rookie David Mills will start tonight's game. It's his first NFL start. First NFL starts can be rocky. This is why we are seeing the public jump heavy on the favored Panthers. Should we do the same? Let's take a deeper look...
The Houston Coaching staff has stated that Mills has shown many signs of improvement since his 2 preseason starts. I would expect tonight's gameplan to be run-heavy and keep the ball out of the Panthers offense's hands. Mark Ingram / Philip Lindsey combo should see 30+ touches between them. That's a good thing.
Road teams disadvantage in TNF
It's no secret that playing on the road on Thursday night (on a short week) is not fun or easy. Road teams have a disadvantage. Historically, home favorites have a big advantage against the spread (ATS). I would lean towards the home team in the matchup too...especially getting +8 or more points.
*Note - this is Carolina's first road game of the season. They have played well at home...but this will be their first test on the road, in a hostile environment.
Another point here - this is a road, out of conference game for the Panthers. They are currently 2-0. It's a tendency here for a team to "not get up" (no have extra motivation) for a non-conference road game vs a "bad" team on paper.
Another great trend...Rookie QBs are 5-1 in Thursday Night football debuts...
Davis Mills gets his first career NFL start tonight as the Texans take on the Panthers.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 23, 2021
Since 2016, quarterbacks making their first career start on Thursday night own a 5-1 record. pic.twitter.com/fAUU6uh6bV
Betting system tells us...
Now, let's run this matchup through our proprietary betting system. We are setting HOU as a 6 win team (C- grade). Carolina at 8 wins (C grade). With these power rankings, we estimate the line to be HOU -5.5. If we lean towards taking Houston and the points...we are getting some value there.
Panthers vs Texans free pick summary
I get it. It's difficult to place your hard-earned money on a rookie QB making his first NFL start. But if your going to play the spread in this game...I would lean towards the underdog Texans. Houston has a strong enough running game they can lean on. Plus, Thursday Night road teams have historically struggled. That will play into Texans bettors' hands.
Don't get a 2nd mortgage for this one. Place a 1 unit (small) wager on the underdog Texans and you will be getting value on your investment.
Free pick: Houston Texans +8.5
Alternative in-game play - Wait to see if Carolina jumps out to an early 7-10 point lead. Try to get the Texans +10.5 or more.