NFL Thursday Night Football Free Pick

***Carolina Panthers -8 at Houston Texans

Both of these teams come into NFL week three at 2-0 ATS. However, the Texans will now go with rookie QB Davis Mills, who will be making his first NFL start against a very well coached Carolina team. The Texans offense looked interesting with veteran Tyrod Taylor under center, but handing the offense to a rookie QB vs a Panthers defense that is allowing 3.7 yards per game, best in the NFL, is a big ask. In their last six games, Carolina is 4-2 (66.7%) ATS after a win. In that same timeframe, Houston is 4-7 (36.4%) ATS after a loss. Panthers QB Sam Darnold is no world-beater, but his current QBR of 66.3 is good for 6th best in the NFL – a testament, early on anyway, to how good a coach Matt Rhule is. QB Tyrod Taylor not steering the ship for the Texans offense this week will be just too much here – especially with a rookie QB going on a short week. Lay it with Carolina.

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