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The New York Jets and Carolina Panthers meet Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET and the game is televised on CBS. Below, we look at the Jets vs. Panthers odds and lines, and make our best NFL picks, predictions and bets.
The Jets traded QB Sam Darnold to the Panthers and then selected QB Zach Wilson out of BYU with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. As luck has it, these two players and teams face each other in Week 1.
Wilson looked very good in the preseason, but he’ll be without one of his top receivers with WR Jamison Crowder on the COVID-19 list and ruled out by head coach Robert Saleh
The Panthers scored 30 or more points in two out of the three games that Christian McCaffrey was healthy for last season. The added dimension of the dynamic dual-threat running back should help take some of the pressure off of Sam Darnold. The Jets’ defense allowed over 28 points per game in 2020. First-year head coach Robert Saleh will improve the overall scheme of the defense but the lack of depth remains similar to last season’s roster. Expect Joe Brady to get his playmakers the ball early and often.
This game might come down to how well Carolina can convert inside the 20-yard line. If the Jets can hold them to field goals more often than not, then they should be able to come away with the victory. If the Panthers can consistently punch it in for six, then they will pull off the win for their quarterback facing his former team.
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I think Carolina gets the Week 1 win over the Jets due in large part to the Panthers’ pass rush against a rookie QB in his first NFL start. I think the Panthers’ offense is going to be a little slow to start, leaning on Christian McCaffrey and the run game to let Sam Darnold get settled in.
I don’t foresee big-time games out of anyone on the offensive side for that reason, but I think Carolina forces at least two turnovers and tallies at least three sacks.