The Carolina Panthers and Washington Commanders are two of the more intriguing teams in the NFC heading into the 2022 NFL season, as both teams are unveiling new quarterbacks. The Panthers traded for former Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, while the Commanders acquired Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts.
Both are expected to play when their teams square off in their preseason opener on Saturday, Aug. 13, at FedEx Field in Maryland. Wentz will look to put his training camp accuracy issues behind him, while Mayfield will try to prove that he’s superior to teammate Sam Darnold.
Which team will come out on top in Week 1 of the preseason? Let’s explore with our Carolina vs Washington best bets.
Panthers vs Commanders Odds
Washington comes in as slight favorites on our NFL odds, which isn’t too surprising given that they’re at home and finished with a superior record last year. Both teams are introducing new signal callers after finishing with losing records last year, so this game is basically a toss-up, which is reflected in the odds.
Panthers vs Commanders Implied Score
Commanders 19.5, Panthers 18
Preseason games tend to be close and low-scoring as teams typically rest their starters, and that will likely be the case here. Neither offense is intimidating (even at full strength) and will likely be out of sync with their new quarterbacks - neither of whom are expected to see much action given their recent injury histories.
Panthers vs Commanders Pick of the Day
Read more on this Panthers vs Commanders bet below.
Panthers vs Commanders Matchup
The big narrative surrounding this matchup is the first glimpse of Mayfield and Wentz in action for their new teams.
Mayfield is eager to prove himself after an injury-marred 2021 that led Cleveland to acquire Deshaun Watson to replace him. The Panthers hope he can be the answer under center after Darnold went bust for them last year, although both figure to get some snaps along with last year’s backup P.J. Walker and 2022 third-round pick, Matt Corral.
Wentz saw his performance fall off dramatically at the end of last season and has struggled with his accuracy during camp, so eyes will be on him to see if those issues persist. We’ll probably see more of the scrappy Taylor Heinicke, who was last year’s starting quarterback for Washington.
Panthers vs Commanders Prediction
Panthers 17, Commanders 14
Wentz’s accuracy woes are concerning, especially for an injury-prone quarterback who turns 30 later this year. Even if he only plays a couple of series for the Commanders, it’s hard to envision them being very productive, especially against a Panthers defense that was solid early on last year.
Carolina’s quarterback room is crowded, and we may not see much from Mayfield given that he’s only been with the team for about a month. There’s not enough room for all of them, and while Walker figures to be the odd man out, they’re all playing for their jobs to some extent.
As such, I think we’ll see a bit more fire from the Panthers on offense, and there’s a good chance they come away with at least one interception on defense. That should be enough to give Carolina the road win here.
Panthers vs Commanders Bet Tips
Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera is 19-19-1 against the spread during the preseason throughout his career, including 6-4 in Week 1. Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule was 1-1-1 ATS last year in his lone preseason thus far, with the push coming in Week 1.
Panthers vs Commanders Best Bets
Under 37.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
Expect a lot of shaky quarterback play as both teams attempt to integrate their new quarterbacks. Wentz has looked terrible in camp thus far, and Mayfield is coming back from offseason surgery, so don’t count on either being much of a factor.
Bank on both defenses to shine in a game that should feature a lot of stalled drives and punts, making the Under our NFL pick of the day.
Panthers Moneyline (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
If Wentz starts, there’s a good chance Washington falls behind early and never catches up with an offensive attack that lacks major firepower.
Carolina’s offense might look a bit choppy, but the rotating quarterbacks could keep the Commanders’ defense off balance. There’s also a decent chance at least one of them steps up and plays well in an effort to stand out in the Panthers’ quarterback competition.
This game could go either way, so you might as well take the team with better odds.