The Carolina Panthers welcome the new-look New York Jets to kick off their 2021 NFL season. Panthers new quarterback Sam Darnold looks to stick it to his former team in what could be a game filled with struggles, according to Las Vegas’ NFL odds. Carolina is favored by 5½ points.
|Game: New York Jets at Carolina Panthers
Location: Bank of America StadiumDate: Sunday,
Time: 4 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|New York Jets||+5½ -110||+205||44½ -110o||20 -110o/-120u|
|Carolina||-5½ -110||-245||44½ -110u||24½ -120o/-110u|
Head to Head
The Panthers and Jets have met seven times and Carolina holds a slight 4-3 lead after having won the previous two games. Their most recent meeting was back in 2017 when Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson was still with the Jets and Christian McCaffrey was a rookie.
New York Jets
Next game: vs New England Patriots
The Jets were popular to fade in NFL picks and parlays last season. This franchise was heavily expected to finish last and win the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. But they actually won two games, over the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns, and picked second in the NFL Draft. They used that pick to take BYU quarterback Zach Wilson and the team couldn’t have been happier.
Wide receiver Jamison Crowder tested positive for COVID-19 but is expected to play with the team for this game. A few other injuries are listed for the Jets but most are to reserve units and bench players.
Next game: vs New Orleans Saints
The Panthers managed to replicate 2019’s record of 5-11 in 2020 despite being without quarterback Cam Newton and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly. Carolina finished 3-8 in one-possession games, indicating this team was a lot tougher than it appeared. Betting online for this underdog was fruitful as they finished 9-7 against the spread (ATS).
Carolina may be without starting guard John Miller due to testing positive for COVID-19. The Panthers’ offensive line is already flimsy as it stands and losing Miller could prove even more detrimental, especially for the running game.
Betting on the Game
Both Carolina and New York did better on the point spread than they did on the money line. The Panthers were 8-4 as an underdog while the Jets were 6-9. In fact, New York covered on six of its last 10 games after opening the season 0-6 on the spread.
As a caveat, the Jets were underdogs by 6½ points or more in 14 of their 16 games. In the two games they weren’t, they failed to cover.
Carolina was steadier on the spread. The Panthers failed to cover in their first two games before covering on nine of their last 14. Carolina wasn’t good at home, however, only covering one of its final six home games.
To make matters more complicated, neither team holds an edge over the other historically. The point spread is 1-1-1 in their last three games and their average scores are 23.67 and 21.33 in favor of Carolina.
Both teams are also rolling with plenty of roster changes. The Jets and Panthers have two new quarterbacks learning a new offense along with several fresh faces on both sides of the ball. It shouldn’t be a surprise if this game becomes sloppy with both teams struggling to score.
Carolina was only 1-3 ATS as a favorite. But don’t let the bettors know that as the support has been for the Panthers on the sportsbook. The spread opened at four points and is now at 5½ points. As shaky as Darnold can be, the Panthers still have more established talent and more coaching continuity making them the “safer” play.
Like the spread, the moneyline has moved toward Carolina. It opened at -200 and has shrunk to -245 while the Jets went from +170 to +205. The Panthers may have been parlay fodder as the Jets have consistently been a losing franchise this last decade.
Even with the upgrades to the overall talent level and coaching staff, it may be awhile before the Jets can be taken seriously as a team.
Carolina also bolstered its defense, adding players like defensive tackle DaQuan Jones and pass rusher Haason Reddick to its linebacker corps. In the secondary, Carolina added cornerback A.J. Bouye and drafted cornerback Jaycee Horn.
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) June 29, 2021
The Panthers finished 18th in both points and yards allowed last season. They went up against Tampa Bay and New Orleans twice along with Kansas City and Green Bay. The defense could be a top-10 unit this season if it stays healthy.
It’s still difficult to trust Carolina with Darnold as the signal-caller, but trust in its defense. The Panthers can be a playoff team and it begins by beating up on the fledgling Jets.
The defense will dominate this game, though the totals (over/under) are trending the other way. The line opened at 43 and has gone up to 44½. But Carolina’s defense could make minced meat of whatever the Jets have to offer on offense.
Wilson has shown to be a versatile quarterback who can come up with plays even under pressure. But the Panthers’ pass rush and secondary will make it difficult to move the chains. On the other side, the Jets have a fearsome front seven that will pressure Darnold all game long. This will be a low-scoring game.