Week 2 of the NFL preseason features an intriguing matchup between two teams that are overhauling their offenses with the Carolina Panthers battling the New England Patriots.
Carolina is looking to sort out its crowded quarterback room led by Baker Mayfield, while New England is incorporating a new offensive scheme in the wake of Josh McDaniels‘ departure.
Will the Panthers improve to 2-0 in the preseason with a road win at Gillette Stadium after edging out the Washington Commanders last week? Or will the Patriots bounce back from a walk-off loss to the New York Giants?
Let’s dig in with our Carolina vs New England predictions and best bets for their showdown on Friday, Aug. 19.
Panthers vs Patriots Odds
New England is slightly favored on our NFL odds, which makes sense for a couple of reasons. Not only are the Patriots at home, but they also won twice as many games as the Panthers last year and are currently projected to finish with a better record in 2022 as well.
The total is currently set at 41 points on Caesars Sportsbook, which is one of the lowest totals on the Week 2 slate. That’s not terribly surprising, though, given that both offenses still have some kinks to work out.
Panthers vs Patriots Implied Score
Patriots 21.75, Panthers 19.25
The Patriots are favored to win a close game by about a field goal. This tracks with both teams’ Week 1 outcomes, as both of their games were decided by just two points.
Panthers vs Patriots Pick of the Day
Read more on this Panthers vs Patriots bet below.
Panthers vs Patriots Matchup
Both teams are coming off close preseason games with identical scores during Week 1, albeit with different outcomes. The Panthers held on to beat the Commanders, 23-21, while the Patriots fell to the Giants by the same score on Graham Gano‘s game-winning field goal as time expired.
It’s worth noting that New England sat most of its starters, including Mac Jones. Jones is more likely to play against Carolina to get a better feel for Matt Patricia‘s new offense, while Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe should help as well after both found the end zone against New York last week.
The Panthers, on the other hand, played all four of their quarterbacks in Week 1 with Mayfield getting the start for his new team. Expect a similar plan in Week 2 as Matt Rhule tries to narrow down the backup QB competition between Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Matt Corral.
Panthers vs Patriots Prediction
Patriots 21, Panthers 17
The Patriots played surprisingly well against the Giants despite resting most of their top players and test-driving a new offense. They should look more comfortable in Week 2, especially if Jones and other starters take the field.
New England’s defense should also feast on Carolina’s backup QBs, particularly Darnold who has struggled mightily against the Patriots throughout his career.
Look for New England to win the turnover battle and come away with the win at home.
Panthers vs Patriots Bet Tips
The Patriots have a 49-37 preseason record under Bill Belichick, including 13-8 in Week 2. The Panthers are 2-2 under Rhule, including 0-1 in Week 2.
Panthers vs Patriots Best Bets
Patriots -2.5 (-120) at Caesars Sportsbook
For all the negative reports coming out of Patriots training camp, they nearly came away with a win against the Giants in a game that went down to the wire. Granted, New York isn’t a particularly good team, but neither is Carolina.
The Panthers have too many cooks in the kitchen right now at quarterback, especially if their best one (Mayfield) only plays a couple of series. The rest of their options are either inexperienced or underwhelming — the types of players that Belichick loves to exploit.
New England’s defense isn’t as strong as it was last year, but this is a highly winnable matchup for them. Back the Patriots to cover the spread at home as our NFL pick of the day.
Under 41 Total Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
While both teams surpassed this number in Week 1, I think we’ll see them go just Under in Week 2. Expect a choppy game where both offenses look sloppy at times and struggle to push the ball downfield, resulting in more punts and field goals than touchdowns.