The Carolina Panthers (1-1) host the Minnesota Vikings (2-0) in Week 3 at Bank of America Stadium. Here is a preview, the betting odds and a prediction.
The Carolina Panthers (1-1) look to keep their 14-game home winning streak intact when they welcome the undefeated Minnesota Vikings (2-0) to Bank of America Stadium for a Week 3 kickoff on Sunday afternoon. The game starts at 1:00 p.m. ET. FOX will have the telecast.
Carolina got its first win of 2016 by clobbering the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 at home, 46-27. The Panthers offense came alive against a work-in-progress 49ers defense to move to 1-1 on the year.
Minnesota may have suffered another tough injury to running back Adrian Peterson on Sunday night, but did beat the arch rival Green Bay Packers at brand new US Bank Stadium in Week 2, 17-14. The Vikings have a championship-caliber roster, but also have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFC.
According to OddsShark.com, the Panthers are a seven-point home favorite over the Vikings. Carolina should be favored, but anything more than a field goal means that Las Vegas is putting a ton of stock in Peterson not playing after tearing his meniscus on Sunday night. The money lines are Carolina -455 and Minnesota +355. The associated over/under comes in at 43.
Point Spread: Carolina -7
Moneylines: Carolina -455, Minnesota +355
If any team is capable of upsetting Carolina at their place this season, it might as well be another Super Bowl contender in Minnesota. This game will feature two of the NFL’s top 10 defenses. These are well-coached teams that aren’t going to turn the football over.
Neither team will have its starting running back on Sunday. Peterson is likely out with a torn meniscus for the Vikings. Jonathan Stewart is probably sidelined again with a hamstring injury for the Panthers.
This game will come down to who plays better up front and who gets better play form their quarterback. Carolina doesn’t have a great offensive line, but it looks loads better than whatever the Vikings will put in front of quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford also has an injury-riddled past, which doesn’t bode well going up in front of a great Carolina front seven.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will face pressure from a stout Vikings front seven. He may have his worst game of the season against one of the best secondaries in football on Sunday.
Expect the point total in this one to side with the under, especially with Peterson presumably out for Minnesota. Carolina will prevail at home, but the Vikings cover the seven-point spread.
Pick: Panthers 23, Vikings 17