Betting On Panthers Texans – Texans Look To Parlay Momentum Against Lowly Panthers
When the Carolina Panthers scored 23 unanswered points to take a commanding 23-7 lead over the Atlanta Falcons in the first half of their NFC South showdown last week, it appeared as though they were on their way to their biggest win of the season. But playing in front of their home crowd, with a division rival on the ropes, the Panthers were unable to put the Falcons away, and ultimately allowed 24 unanswered points in the final two quarters in an eventual 31-23 loss. No single person on the Carolina sidelines was not accountable for at least a margin of error in that loss, and now the Panthers face the tough task of bouncing back from a crushing defeat in time to face a talented Houston Texans’ team on the road this sports betting week.
Carolina Panthers @ Houston TexansSunday December 18, 2011 – 1:00 PM ET
Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
NFL Betting Lines: Houston Texans – 6.5
The Texans have been one of the surprise stories of the season, as despite losing their two top quarterbacks, their Pro Bowl wide receiver, and Pro Bowl defensive end, they still manage to keep winning. Rookie quarterback TJ Yates led a 10-point fourth quarter comeback throwing the final touchdown pass with two seconds left on the clock in last weekend’s 20-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals to clinch a seventh straight victory.
NFL Betting Preview: Carolina Panthers
The turning point in last weekend’s awful loss to Atlanta had to have been when Cam Newton attempted to force a checkdown to Jonathan Stewart under pressure in the third quarter, only to have Falcons’ linebacker Mike Peterson step in front of it for the easy pick. Atlanta would score two plays later, and it was easy to feel the momentum shift in the stadium. It’s understandable that Newton is going to make tough mistakes in his rookie season, but he will need to do a better job of avoiding those kinds of turnovers in key situations. The Panthers’ offense has shown its big play ability, including DeAngelo Williams’ 74-yard touchdown run last week, but the defense will need to do a much better job when it counts.
NFL Betting Preview: Houston Texans
Considering the status of Yates as a rookie and the first NFL starter out of North Carolina, it is easy to be impressed with how he has handled being thrust in to the role of starter. Yates has registered three touchdowns compared to just one interception, although he does need to do a better job of ball security in the pocket. With the running back tandem of Ben Tate and Arian Foster not at their best last week, Yates threw for 300 yards and hit Kevin Walter for the game-winning score with two seconds on the clock. Tate and Foster should bounce back this week, and the Texans’ top-ranked defense will do everything they can to get after Newton and cover the sportsbook number.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
Good teams have the ability to put opponents away when they have them on the ropes, and after allowing 24 straight points to blow a 16-point halftime lead against the rival Falcons last week, the morale has to be down in the Panthers’ locker room. The Texans meanwhile are getting more and more confident with every passing week and now have their eyes on a first round bye as they look to the postseason for the first time in franchise history.NFL Betting Pick: Houston Texans