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The Carolina Panthers have gotten off to a strong start to the preseason. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills are looking to bounce back from a slow start to the preseason. With both teams working out kinks and their roster, it should be an intriguing matchup on Friday night.
Bills hoping to build off preseason opener
The Bills are coming off a strong showing in the first week of the preseason. There is still much to be desired, but it was a solid outing for them in the 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Granted, this game consisted of primarily their backups getting the bulk of the playing time, but it saw them put forth enough offensive production to grab the win at home. Second-year quarterback Josh Allen had some limited action as he expected as he completed 6-of-11 passes for 66 yards. Backup Matt Barkley pushed forward with a solid performance as he completed 9-of-14 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. The yardage plays with his throws were not explosive by any means with just 9.0 yards per attempt, but he did help orchestrate scoring drives. Meanwhile, their running game did the bulk of the work, rushing for 163 yards on 32 carries putting them at 5.1 yards per attempt while scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Add another RB to the @BuffaloBills rotation.
— NFL (@NFL) August 10, 2019
A large chunk of that came from Christian Wade recording a 65-yard touchdown run on his only carry of the game. Meanwhile, Marcus Murphy notched 33 yards on six carries in the contest. There wasn’t much standout production from elsewhere in the game, but their defense played well enough against the Colts to give them the edge. This saw them give up just 4.4 yards per play while limiting Indianapolis to just 4-of-16 converted third downs and failing to score on either one of their two trips in the red zone. This will once again need to be the case in Week 2 of the preseason if they hope to move towards a win on the road. With their offensive game plan largely leaning on their running game, they will need the Bills defense to step up to give them a chance to pull it out over the Panthers. However, this may be too tough of a task to fall through with on Friday night.
Panthers encouraged by strong preseason opener
Like the Bills, the Panthers got their preseason off on the right foot with a strong performance in the opener this past week. This saw them move comfortably past the Chicago Bears 23-13 on the road. Carolina rolled through the entire contest with their backups, but it did see them get some encouraging play from their young talent. Rookie running back Elijah Holyfield had a decent outing registering 26 yards on nine carries including a touchdown along with a pair of catches for 13 receiving yards and a touchdown despite committing a fumble. He was a strong source of production in the red zone for the Panthers as he was responsible for their two scores in that portion of the field. Rookie quarterback Will Grier had his ups and downs in limited action as he completed 9-of-16 passes for 77 yards with a touchdown and an interception while adding a 20-yard scramble in his lone attempt.
Grier ➡️ Holyfield for the TD 🔥 pic.twitter.com/MTWNYkM6F0
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 9, 2019
Grier’s play will continue to be the focal point, with star quarterback Cam Newton still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The expectation is that Newton will be ready for the season opener, but this valuable playing time that Grier is receiving in the preseason could come into play to help him get further acclimated to playing in the NFL ahead of his first campaign. The Panthers may look to open the playbook more for Grier against the Bills to see how much he can handle at this point. At the same time, the play of their defense should be a factor in Buffalo as they had a strong showing against the Bears by holding them to just 13 first downs, holding them to just 4-of-13 third-down conversions, recording five sacks and just 4.7 yards per play. With the Panthers defense already making an impact, it should see this be the difference in Friday’s contest that will more than likely be yet another lower-scoring preseason affair.
- The Panthers are 5-1 ATS as dogs against an opponent off BB SU wins.
- The Panthers are 4-1 ATS off a SU dog win against <.500 foe.
- Bills are 0-7 ATS off BB SU wins
- Bills are 0-5 ATS away off DD SU win
- Bills are 15-29 ATS in preseason
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bills offense has struggled to get going, which will once again be the case against the Panthers, who had a strong showing in the preseason opener. This should once again follow suit to that trend this week given Buffalo’s direction. Carolina is also 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games.
Full-Game Total Pick
As it has been throughout the preseason, offense has been hard to come by with the backups and rookies playing extended roles. The Bills will have a difficult time putting up points against the Panthers’ defense. The under is also 4-1 in Panthers’ last five games overall.