As the regular season inches closer, the Carolina Panthers play on the road in a preseason game against the Washington Commanders on Saturday.
While starters will scarcely play, both franchises will debut new starting quarterbacks. Carson Wentz will start for Washington, while Baker Mayfield is in a position to start for Carolina. Each offense is looking for major improvements after poor 2021 seasons. On defense, both teams have good pieces.
NFL odds have the Commanders at +500 to win the NFC East, while the Panthers hold the second-lowest odds (+1000) in the NFC South.
Keep reading for NFL odds & lines along with predictions for the Commanders vs Panthers.
Commanders: What’s in a Name?
Washington will don its new team name for the first time against the Panthers. The Washington Commanders hope the rebrand is the start of a franchise turnaround.
Wentz’s debut will be one of the game’s most intriguing storylines. Wentz struggled in Indianapolis; will he rebound in Washington? Elsewhere, rookies Jahan Dotson, Brian Robinson and Sam Howell will be worth watching.
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 7, 2022
The Commanders will look for major strides from the secondary, which ranked 29th in passing yards allowed per game (254.9) in 2021. Also, defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis will get his first crack at earning a key role in the front-seven rotation.
Panthers: QB Duel
The Mayfield vs Darnold QB battle is the biggest storyline of Carolina’s camp. So far, Mayfield has separated himself. With good preseason showings, the former Cleveland Browns starter can end the competition.
How will running back Christian McCaffrey look now that he’s finally healthy? If he plays, keep an eye on wideout Terrace Marshall Jr.; the former second-rounder possesses a lot of talent. Many are itching to see 2022 No. 6 pick left tackle Ikem Ekwonu in action.
Not much is new on Carolina’s defense. Rookie linebacker Brandon Smith will try to earn an elevated role. Former top-10 pick C.J. Henderson has an opportunity to earn more snaps as he will fill in for Jaycee Horn.
Panthers vs Commanders Injury Report
Injuries are piling up for the Commanders. Chase Young, Logan Thomas, Tyler Larsen and Cornelius Lucas will be out. Also, Trai Turner and Cole Turner are questionable.
For Carolina, Shaq Thompson, Ian Thomas and C.J. Saunders will be out. Horn, Marshall and Marquis Haynes Sr. are questionable.
Panthers vs Commanders Head-to-Head
Washington has won three of its last four matchups against Carolina. Last season, the Commanders covered against the Panthers with a 27-21 win.
Panthers vs Commanders Game Information
- Game: Panthers vs Commanders
- Location: FedEx Field, Summerfield, Md.
- Day/Time: Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
- Live stream: NFL Game Pass
Panthers vs Commanders Betting Lines
|Carolina Panthers||pk -110||37-110o|
|Washington Commanders||pk -110||37-110u|
Panthers vs Commanders Prediction
The sportsbook has Washington as a slight favorite. While recent history favors the Commanders, Carolina is in a good spot to cover. First off, Washington is dealing with injuries, including backups who get most of the reps during the preseason.
Furthermore, Washington’s defense is more of a question mark going into the preseason. The Panthers have an established defensive core that comes off a good 2021 season. Carolina will get it done on the road