Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott returns to Carolina to play the Panthers where he hopes his new team can get a win over his old one. McDermott was the defensive coordinator for six years in Carolina before accepting the gig in Buffalo during the last offseason. The Panthers, meanwhile, are hoping to start 2-0 for the third time in the last four seasons.
Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Bills
Point Spread: Panthers -7 Date: Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, 1:00 PM ET Location: Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, North Carolina
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Panthers opened as 7.5-point favourites on the Sports Interaction odds board. McDermott was hired to fix a defense Rex Ryan couldn’t in Buffalo. The Bills’ stopper unit allowed only 225 yards of total offense and caused two turnovers last weekend, but that has to be taken with a grain salt considering it came against the New York Jets. The over is still 10-3 in the Bills last 13 games overall.
The Panthers are seeking to re-establish their home-field advantage. The club went 4-4 straight up and 3-5 against the spread at Bank of America Stadium last season. Over 65 percent of Sports Interaction customers are backing the Panthers to cover as 7.5-point favorites against the Bills, while 81 percent are wagering the game score surpasses the 43-point over/under line.
The Bills like to run the football no matter who the head coach or quarterback is in Buffalo. LeSean McCoy averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2016 and he showed no signs of slowing down last week. McCoy gained 110 yards on the ground and picked up another 49 in the passing game in the Week 1 win over the Jets. He also had four carries of 20 or more yards.
Cam Newton looked rusty against the San Francisco 49ers in his first regular season game since having surgery on his throwing shoulder. The Panthers scored only three additional points after grabbing a 20-0 early in the third quarter against the Niners.
Newton passed for a modest 171 yards and completed three passes to his two starting wide receivers.
Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction
Panthers 20-Bills 17