Beano’s Bet Builder: Texans Going Through The Mill

Brian analyses TNF where rookie quarterback David Mills looks set for a difficult night on his first start for the Texans.

With such a short turnaround from their Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints, there is no room for complacency where the Carolina Panthers are concerned. Although they are heavily favoured to topple the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football, believing the increasing hype could come back to haunt the team if they don’t prepare in the right manner.

This is something Matt Rhule and his coaching staff are keen to avoid. Taking the Texans lightly, despite rookie quarterback Davis Mills making his first start, would be an error. There is no such thing as a sure thing in the NFL. Although the Panthers have begun the campaign in an impressive fashion, we need to remember that it is just two games and there are some tougher challenges ahead.

Carolina Panthers

Quarterback Sam Darnold has looked much improved since joining Carolina over the summer and is finally showing what he can do with a proper offensive line to protect him. Wide receivers DJ Moore and Robby Anderson have shown good chemistry with Darnold, while running back Christian McCaffrey has been stomping all over opposing defenses. It isn’t all about offense for the Panthers and their defense has had an impressive start. They followed up 6 sacks in their opening game with a further 3 versus the Saints and the thoughts of a rookie QB will have them licking their lips.

Houston Texans

The Texans have suffered a huge blow with quarterback Tyrod Taylor ruled out for this game. Rookie Davis Mills will be asked to start in Taylor’s absence. It’s a tough start for the rookie, facing a Panthers defense that has allowed the fewest points in the NFL so far this season. Mills didn’t show much last week when he came in for Taylor, completing just eight of his 18 pass attempts for 102 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He’s also now working with a small window of preparation between Sunday and Thursday night. The Panthers have completely shut down opposing run games in their first two fixtures, allowing just 2.7 yards per carry (best in the NFL) which could lead to Mills struggling to lean on his running backs for support.

Verdict

I expect Panthers to dominate this game moving to 3-0 with McCaffrey having a great night in the run game. I’m picking McCaffrey to find the endzone, run for over 84.5 yards along with Panthers covering a reasonable handicap of -7.5 points.

SRD Selections

Panthers -7.5

McCaffrey anytime TD

McCaffrey to rush for over 84.5 yards

Bet Builder pays 4/1