If you’re looking to cash in on some NFL preseason action and you’re looking for some good value, then look no further. The Week 1 preseason matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills is offering the value you’re looking for. With the Panthers looking to challenge for a Super Bowl berth in the loaded NFC and the Bills looking to make back-to-back postseason appearances after snapping a 17-year drought a year ago, let’s find out where the best betting value lies in this Inter-Conference preseason matchup between the Panthers vs Bills.
Panthers vs Bills 2018 NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds
When: Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM ETWhere: New Era Field, Orchard Park, New YorkLive Stream: NFL Game PassNFL Odds: Buffalo -1 / Total: 34
Why Bet on the Carolina Panthers?
The best reason to bet on the Panthers is that they’re the more talented and well-coached team. Carolina has been a fairly consistent winner under head coach Ron Rivera and enters the 2018 season coming off a solid 11-5 mark a year ago despite competing in a difficult NFC South division that placed three teams in the playoffs. The Panthers went 2-2 in the preseason under Rivera last season and that was the third time in the last four preseasons that’s happened for Carolina. The other time they didn’t go 2-2, the Panthers went 3-1 in the preseason (2015).
- Average Score For: 22.88
- Total Yards: 328.94
- Pass Yards: 199
- Rush Yards: 129.94
- Average Score Against: 21.06
- Total Yards: 322.58
- Pass Yards: 237.29
- Rush Yards: 85.29
Why Bet on the Buffalo Bills?
The best reason to bet on the Bills is that they’re playing at home – and have three quarterbacks that are going all out to nail down the starting job by the time the regular season rolls around. The bad news is that Buffalo went 1-3 in the preseason a year ago, under now, second-year head coach Sean McDermott. Buffalo has a pretty open quarterback competition with veteran A.J. McCarron trying to beat out second-year signal-caller Nathan Peterman and both players looking to stay in front of first round draft pick Josh Allen. McCarron and Peterman are getting the bulk of the preseason snaps.
- Average Score For: 17.94
- Total Yards: 300.29
- Pass Yards: 174
- Rush Yards: 126.29
- Average Score Against: 21.71
- Total Yards: 347.88
- Pass Yards: 221.35
- Rush Yards: 126.53
Expert Analysis and Prediction for Panthers vs Bills
Look, were this a regular season matchup, Carolina would be the easy pick to get the win and probably the ATS cover as well, depending on the spread. However, since this isn’t a regular season contest and Buffalo looks a bit better at the backup quarterback position – I think the Bills are the pick to win and cash in as 1-point home faves!
Carolina’s backup quarterback situation is muddied at best with 2014 sixth round draft pick Garrett Gilbert the early leader for the No. 2 job behind Cam Newton. Gilbert is currently in front of Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen for the No. 2 job, but none of the three has much experience at all.
AJ McCarron has played some decent football when he’s gotten on the field as the backup to Andy Dalton when he was with Cincinnati and although Nathan Peterman flamed out badly in his only NFL start by tossing five interceptions against the Chargers last season, the Bills are, again, in better shape than Carolina at the position. Buffalo wins and covers as a slight home favorite.
NFL Preseason Week 1 Pick: Buffalo -1