Panthers vs. Texans: The best player prop bets for TNF

Profile Picture: Ashley Anderson

September 22nd, 2021

Sam Darnold and the 2-0 Carolina Panthers will challenge rookie Davis Mills and the Houston Texans in Week 3's Thursday Night Football matchup, set for kickoff at 8:20 p.m. ET at NRG Stadium.

Fri, September 24 2021, 12:20 AM

HOU Texans






O 43

CAR Panthers






U 43

Carolina currently shares the lead in the NFC South with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Texans and Tennessee Titans are the only teams in their division with a win.

Houston got its first victory of the season against the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, and played the Cleveland Browns, a playoff contender, close throughout much of their Week 2 outing.

Texans starter Tyrod Taylor pulled his hamstring in last week's 31-21 loss and has been ruled out Thursday, making way for Mills, a Stanford product who was selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Let's examine Week 3's Thursday Night Football matchup further, as we look at three of the best player props to bet.

Sam Darnold: Over/Under 260.5 passing yards

Carolina's hot start can be partially attributed to the success of the offense under Darnold, who has sparked new life into his career since leaving the New York Jets in the offseason.

Across two games for Carolina, the former top-three draft pick has completed 68.5% of his passes for 584 yards, has averaged eight yards per pass, and has tallied four total touchdowns.

In Week 1, Darnold racked up 279 passing yards on his former team and piled up 305 yards in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints, who held reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers to just 133 yards the week prior.

Houston surrendered 332 yards to rookie Trevor Lawrence in Week 1, and 213 yards to Baker Mayfield in Week 2. Cleveland's run game played a major role in that matchup, which is why Mayfield's numbers are lower, but Carolina will likely go to the air more often.

Look for Darnold to have a huge night in the passing game and hit the Over on 260.5 yards.

Pick: Over 260.5 passing yards

Christian McCaffrey: Over/Under 48.5 receiving yards

Another reason the offense is humming in Carolina is the return of running back Christian McCaffrey.

The versatile back played in just three games last season because of injury, a year after he became the third player in NFL history to record 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

Through two games, McCaffrey has run for 170 yards and has caught 14 of his 15 targets for 154 yards.

Against the Jets, he led his team with 89 receiving yards on nine catches and added 65 yards on five catches in Week 2.

McCaffrey ranks second behind D.J. Moore in targets for Carolina, and averages 11 yards per catch.

Pick: Over 48.5 receiving yards 

Robby Anderson: to score a touchdown

Another popular target of Darnold's is his former Jets teammate Robby Anderson, who is averaging a team-high 23.8 yards per reception.

In 27 games played together, Anderson has caught 92 passes from Darnold for 1,448 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The wideout was also the player Darnold connected with for his first touchdown as the Panthers' new quarterback. Anderson hauled in a 57-yard pass from his QB in the second quarter of Carolina's 19-14 win against New York. 

In Week 1, the Texans allowed Lawrence to throw a touchdown pass to three different receivers and surrendered one receiving touchdown to the Browns, who did most of their scoring on the ground.

Houston is tied for 21st in opponent yards per completion (11) and will get exposed by a deep-ball threat like Anderson.

Look for Darnold to link up with his longtime teammate for a few chunk plays, one of which will result in a touchdown.

Pick: Anderson to score an anytime touchdown