Texans vs. Panthers NFL Free Pick

NFL Free Pick: Texans, Panthers Week 2 matchup should fall under total

A pair of ball-control, run-first teams should produce a low-scoring game for bettors today in Charlotte where the Panthers host the Texans at 1:00PM ET.

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Coach Bill O'Brien named Ryan Mallett his starter for today's game. Brian Hoyer was benched with 6:10 remaining in the fourth quarter of Houston's Week 1 loss to Kansas City and Mallett sparked the offense by completing 8-of-14 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. But no matter who starts under center, the Texans are a run-committed, ball-control team that will once again rely on an Arian Foster-less backfield today.

The Panthers will also rely on their running game, although for different reasons. Cam Newton rushed 14 times for 35 yards last week as Carolina focused on its ground game thanks in large part to its weak receiving corps. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula said the team needs to find ways to get the ball to tight end Greg Olsen more, but Houston will surely key on him and limit his production in the passing game.

This contest is tailor-made for under bettors. In fact, the under is 5-1 in the Panthers' last six home games and 4-1 in the Texans' last five games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous contest. According to oddsmakers from online sports book GT Bets, the Panthers are 3-point favorites while the over/under is sitting at 39.5 points.


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