The Houston Texans (2-1) host the Carolina Panthers (2-1) this weekend for an AFC vs NFC South battle from Texas. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on September 29th at NRG Stadium and the game will be broadcast on FOX.

Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Texans listed as 4-point home favorites. That line hasn’t moved at allĀ  after early betting, as Houston is currently available at -4. The total for this matchup is 46.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 4 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.

Texans vs Panthers Game Odds & Betting Preview

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers won their first game of the season last weekend, beating Arizona 38-20 on the road to improve to 1-2 overall. Carolina was up 14-10 at the half before they exploded for 24 points over the final two quarters to secure the victory. QB Kyle Allen was excellent in his first start of the year for the injured Cam Newton, going 19/26 for 261 passing yards and four touchdowns. RB Christian McCaffrey had a monster game on the ground, rushing for 153 yards and a touchdown on a game-high 24 carries. Greg Olsen, Curtis Samuel, and D.J. Moore all also had big outings, combining for almost 200 yards receiving and four touchdowns. As a whole, the Panthers offense racked up over 400 total yards and scored five touchdowns against a shell-shocked Cardinals defense.

Carolina was also pretty impressive on the other side of the ball in Week 3, holding Arizona to under 300 total yards of offense and just two touchdowns. The Panthers really did a great job slowing down Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, as he only threw for 173 yards and got picked off twice.

Houston Texans

The Texans won their second straight game after dropping their season opener on the road against New Orleans, beating the Chargers 27-20 to move to 2-1 overall. Houston actually trailed 17-7 at the half but came on strong over the final 30 minutes, outscoring Los Angeles 20-3 to complete the comeback. QB Deshaun Watson was fantastic, going 25/34 for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Kenny Stills and Jordan Akins both had big games through the air, combining for 162 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just seven catches. None of the running backs really got anything going on the ground, although Carlos Hyde did manage to find the end zone despite rushing for only 19 yards on 10 carries. Overall, the Texans generated just under 400 total yards of offense and scored four touchdowns in the win.

Houston played pretty well defensively in Week 3, holding the Chargers to under 400 total yards and just two touchdowns. However, the Texans did get torched by WR Keenan Allen, who hauled in 13 catches for 183 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: OVER 46.5

Since this spread currently looks pretty efficient to me, I don’t really have interest in siding with either the Texans or the Panthers in this particular matchup. I’m fully expecting this game to stay close throughout, as both offenses have shown they can put points on the board while the defenses have also looked fairly solid. However, the current game total of 46.5 points looks a touch low to me, as I think there is some sneaky shootout potential here. Kyle Allen threw four touchdowns last weekend while Olsen, Samuel, and Moore all seem to have strong chemistry with the new starting quarterback for Carolina. On the other side, Deshaun Watson has Hopkins, Fuller, and even Stills making fantastic plays down the field. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this turns into a back and forth affair that surpasses the modest total by midway through the fourth quarter.

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Houston has now given up at least 20 points in two out of their first three games this season while Carolina has allowed 20+ points in three consecutive outings. The Texans have scored at least 27 points on offense over that same time span while the Panthers scored 38 points last Sunday with their new look offense. Finally, the OVER has hit in six out of Carolina’s last seven meetings with an AFC opponent and four out of Houston’s last five meetings with an NFC opponent. I’m going to completely avoid the spread and instead roll with the OVER on 46.5 in what could easily be a high-scoring matchup.