With Sam Darnold’s status in doubt, the betting lines are moving in the Patriots’ favor.
The Carolina Panthers were able to break their four-game losing streak last week when they defeated the Falcons in a 19-13 win in Atlanta. This week they return home to face the New England Patriots, but the Panthers are not expected to win their second straight game, however, as the line from DraftKings Sportsbook now has the Panthers as 3.5-point underdogs to the Patriots. The over/under is currently set at 41 points.
These numbers are different from the opening line which saw the Panthers as 3-point underdogs with a 43 point over/under total. The biggest reason for the change is the status of Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold, who sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter of Carolina’s Week 8 win over the Falcons and is not expected to play against the Patriots this week. Backup quarterback P.J. Walker is expected to start if Darnold is ruled out.
The Panthers will likely be without their starting quarterback, but it’s possible they will have running back Christian McCaffrey back in the lineup after being without him for the last five games due to a hamstring injury he picked up in the team’s Week 3 matchup with the Texans on Thursday Night Football. The Panthers placed McCaffrey on injured reserve ahead of their Week 6 game against the Vikings, but if he’s able to suit up he will be eligible to play against the Patriots on Sunday. Matt Rhule says the team expects McCaffrey to practice on Wednesday, and the team will go from there in regards to any decision about activating him from injured reserve.
The Patriots have won three of their last four games and are currently in second place in the AFC East with a 4-4 record.
The odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, where you can also find the odds for all of next week’s games.