Week 3 starts off with a rookie QB and a rookie head coach on Thursday Night Football as the Houston Texans host the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are off to a great start with wins over the Jets and Saints. The Texans have a win over the Jaguars and a loss to the Browns.
We've got a market report on the game from South Point director Chris Andrews and best bets from Adam Burke and Will Hill as Week 3 kicks off.
Carolina Panthers (-8, 43) at Houston Texans
Market report from Chris Andrews: I opened this game Carolina -7. We suspected at the time that Davis Mills was “probably” going to be the starting quarterback for Houston. Tyrod Taylor got hurt vs. Cleveland. Sharps bet Carolina at -7. So, I went up to -7.5. When the official announcement was made Tuesday, I moved with the market up to Carolina -8. By mid-week, I was already receiving active two-team six-point teaser play on Carolina. Sharps love crossing the 7 and the 3 with one move. Carolina -2 is already big in teasers. Carolina -2.5 would be as well if the game moves up to -8.5. I think it’s safe to say that sharps like Carolina -2 (or -2.5) much more than they like a straight bet on Carolina -8 (or -8.5). There are a lot of good teaser options Sunday to pair with the Panthers that also cross those two key numbers.
On the Over/Under, my opening total of 43 was bet up to 43.5 and 44 by sharp play. Then, confirmation of the QB change brought in Wise Guy money on the Under. I dropped back to 43.5, then back to my opener of 43. A lot of play for a line that now sits in the same place it started. The public will probably bet over in the solitary TV game between now and kickoff. In fact, as I write this, my ticket count is still 3/1 to the Over even with the drop back to 43. If public action drives the number higher, sharps will likely come back in on the Under at 43.5 or better.
Burke: The deck is very much stacked against David Culley and Mills on Thursday Night Football, but it has already been more than baked into the line. The Texans actually played quite admirably against the Browns in Week 2 and also had that big win over the Jaguars in Week 1, so this is a team playing better than most of us expected.