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This Thursday, there is an NFL Preseason matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots. These teams will face off at about 7:30 PM. This is game three of the preseason for both teams, which will take place at Gillette Stadium.
Newton Looks To Play Well Following Shoulder Surgery
The Carolina Panthers enter the 2019 season with hopes of returning to the playoffs after a disappointing collapse in the second half last year. That goal seems a bit more realistic considering the fact that star quarterback Cam Newton is officially healthy once again. However, Newton has not played yet this preseason as a precautionary measure due to his offseason shoulder surgery. However, coach Ron Rivera already announced that Newton will play in the team’s preseason game against New England. Newton has an average season last year as he had 28 total touchdowns along with 15 turnovers. However, with a repaired shoulder, Carolina seems optimistic that Newton will look a bit more like his MVP self from a few seasons ago.
Last week, the Panthers lost to the Bills at home by a score of 27-14. In that game, starting quarterback Kyle Allen went just 4-11 for 32 passing yards along with two rushes for 14 yards. backup quarterback Will Grier played pretty well as he went 10-19 for 75 passing yards along with one interception. However, third-string quarterback Taylor Heinicke looked fantastic as he went 8-12 for 78 passing yards and one touchdown.
The Panthers currently have three injuries that they are dealing with leading up to this game. Specifically, guards Norman Price and Brandon Greene have been listed as questionable for this game while linebacker Shaq Thompson is also listed as questionable due to a hamstring injury but is expected to sit due to precautionary measures.
New England’s Quarterbacks Continue Playing Well
The New England Patriots enter the 2019 season with hopes of defending their Super Bowl trophy. Although this is just preseason, this game could be important for New England as it will look to find depth to several key positions and to correct any issues leading up to the regular season since none of the starters will likely play next week in the preseason finale. However, star quarterback Tom Brady did not play in the first two games of preseason and will most likely see some brief action in the first quarter of this game. Brady usually plays in at least one preseason game every year but Coach Belichick could still give his 42-year-old quarterback more rest in order to preserve him for the regular season. The Patriots are currently 2-0 this preseason due to some quality performances from the other quarterbacks on the active roster.
Last week, the Patriots were able to beat the Titans on the road by a score of 22-17. In that game, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer went 6-8 for 55 passing yards along with zero touchdowns and one interception. Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham played well as he went 14-19 for 193 passing yards along with one touchdown and zero turnovers. As a fourth-round pick in this past NFL Draft, Stidham has looked fantastic so far this preseason and could potentially overtake Hoyer as the backup quarterback in the immediate future.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 18, 2019
The Patriots currently have five injuries that they are dealing with leading up to this game. Specifically, wide receiver N’Keal Harry, wide receiver Maurice Harris, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, running back Damien Harris and tight end Lance Kendricks are all listed as questionable at this point in time but will likely not play as a precautionary measure.
The Pats released longtime punter Ryan Allen this week and long snapper Joe Cardona had his thoughts on the matter.
“It’s difficult,” observed Joe Cardona, “in that… there’s going to be a change in our group dynamic, from a professional standpoint. Personal standpoint, Ryan’s obviously a friend and that’s not going to change. I just don’t get to see him as often as I usually do, unfortunately. That’s really the hardest aspect. We have to build that chemistry [with Bailey] and he’s worked on that thus far. He’s definitely put in the work, and we’re going to keep building on that.”
- Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on fieldturf.
- Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games.
- Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
Updated on Aug 22 at 11:20am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Patriots have got 69% of the bets so far, but they have gone from -4.5 down to -3.5. The sharps are clearly on the side of the Panthers.
Injury / Weather Report
Carolina’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: QB Cam Newton
New England’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: WR Maurice Harris, RB Phillip Dorsett, TE Matt LaCosse, and TE Benjamin Watson
Out: DB Patrick Chung, WR Cameron Meredith, and OL Yodny Cajuste
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Even though Tom Brady is not guaranteed to play in this game, I still have to side with the Patriots. Simply put, New England has looked like the much better preseason team and I have faith in Stidham to put in another quality performance from the quarterback position. New England also went 3-1 last preseason so it appears that Coach Belichick has started to take preseason games a bit more seriously in the last few years. Give me the Patriots as a result.
Prediction: New England Patriots
Full-Game Total Pick
Simply put, Carolina already announced that Newton will play at least one series in this game and I think both teams possess decent enough backups to score some points. Specifically, New England has scored at least 22 points in each of its first two preseason games and Brady has not touched the field so I trust Hoyer and Stidham to play well again on Thursday. Plus, Carolina is averaging 18.5 points per game this preseason and Newton will be back for this game so I think it should score at least 21 points in this game. Give me the over as a result.