The New England Patriots will look to remain undefeated in NFL preseason action as they visit the Carolina Panthers on Friday as 3 1/2-point road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
New England hits the road for the first time during this preseason, heading south for Friday night’s Patriots vs. Panthers betting matchup at Bank of America Stadium after posting two home wins, knocking off the New Orleans Saints 34-22 two weeks ago before escaping with a 23-22 win over the Chicago Bears last week.
Friday’s contest marks the third consecutive year in which these teams have met in the preseason, with the Patriots picking up a 17-16 win in Charlotte last year as 1-point underdogs after blowing out the Panthers 30-7 as 5 1/2-point home chalk in 2014.
While no official announcement has been made, Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be given a heavy workload under center for the Patriots on Friday night. Garoppolo impressed in New England’s win over the Bears last week, completing 16 of 21 passes for 181 yards with one touchdown after failing to find the end zone against the Saints.
Tom Brady had been expected to see his first action of the preseason last week, but the Patriots’ star quarterback sat out against the Bears after he suffered a cut to his thumb in a locker-room mishap. However, it appears Brady might make his preseason debut Friday night.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was absent from on-field workouts early this week after leaving practice last week with an undisclosed injury, but he returned to the field Wednesday. Gronkowski’s status is uncertain for Friday night.
Despite the question marks swirling around the club as the regular season approaches, the Patriots remain atop the Super Bowl LI odds, pegged at +600.
Meanwhile, the Panthers will try to build on last week’s 26-16 win over the Tennessee Titans as they host New England in their first home game of the preseason. Reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton is expected to see more action Friday after leading the Panthers to two scoring drives against the Titans.
Newton led Carolina to a Super Bowl berth last February following a 15-1 regular season in which he threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns, while rushing for an additional 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is a +500 wager to defend his MVP crown this season.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images