Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots Preseason Pick

August 22, 7:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Patriots -3

Neither Tom Brady nor Cam Newton has played in this pre-season yet, but both should see action when the Patriots host the Panthers for a Week 3 NFL exhibition battle Thursday night in Foxboro. How are we playing this game with our free NFL pick?

NFL Betting Odds

Week 3's NFL exhibition betting odds opened New England at around -3 over Carolina, with an over/under of 42. Both those figures were holding steady in early betting action.

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Panthers vs. Patriots Set-Up

Carolina opened its 2019 exhibition season with a 23-13 victory at Chicago two weeks ago, then lost at home to Buffalo last Friday 27-14. The Panthers only produced 269 yards of total offense against the Bears, but only allowed 252 yards of Chicago offense. Carolina then only came up with 258 yards against the Bills, while giving up 373.

Quarterback Cam Newton has not played in this exhibition season yet. In his place back-ups Taylor Heinicke, Will Grier, and Kyle Allen are a combined 42/78 passing for 373 yards and two touchdowns, against two interceptions. Mediocre numbers, at best.

Newton, coming off off-season shoulder surgery, is expected to start Thursday night, but for how long is uncertain.

Defending Super Bowl champion New England, meanwhile, opened its exhibition season with a 31-3 win at Detroit two weeks ago, then won at Tennessee last Saturday night 22-17. The Patriots absolutely dominated the Lions, out-gaining them 459-93 even without Tom Brady. New England then rallied from down 17-8 to the Titans, scoring the last two touchdowns of the game for the win.

As mentioned, Brady also hasn't played this pre-season yet. In his place back-ups, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham are a combined 46/65 passing for 574 yards and four touchdowns, against one pick. Nice numbers, indeed.

We're figuring Brady will start Thursday night, and we think that will be good for at least seven points before he gives way to the back-ups.

These teams also met in the pre-season last year, a 25-14 Panthers win in Charlotte. That game was also a Week 3 affair, so Brady and Newton both played the first two quarters, but they combined to produce just 12 points.

The last time these teams met for real came back in October 2017, a 33-30 Panthers upset victory in Foxboro.

NFL Betting Trends

  • Carolina is 19-15 both SU and ATS in eight-plus exhibition seasons under Coach Rivera.
  • New England is 42-35 SU, 38-35-4 ATS in 19-plus exhibition seasons under Coach Belichick.
  • Underdogs on the NFL betting line are 14-18 SU, 15-15-2 ATS so far this exhibition season.

Totals Report

  • The Panthers victory over Chicago two weeks ago played over a total of 35 by one point, and their loss to Buffalo last week played over a total of 40 by one point.
  • The Patriots win over Detroit two weeks ago played under a total of 35, and their win over Tennessee last week played under a total of 42.
  • Unders are 17-15 so far this NFL exhibition season.

Panthers at Patriots Prediction 08/22/19

New England is just the better, deeper team here. The Patriots should possess a lead when Brady leaves the game, and then they still own the better back-up quarterback situation. In fact, we're surprised they're not favored by more than three points.

Free Pick: 
Take the Pats -3
Zank is taking the Pats giving up the points on this week three of the NFL Preseason. If you are looking for more of Zank’s NFL selections and best bets by our expert handicapping crew you can visit our NFL Picks Page.