Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Christian McCaffrey
Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers betting odds
- Spread: Panthers -3
- Over/Under: 42.5
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
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Betting market: Both offensive lines are beaten up, so bettors have focused on the under in this matchup.
After the total opened at 44, under money has driven it down to 42.5, which is crucial considering 43 is the most common landing spot for combined scores since the NFL moved back the extra point before the 2015 season. — PJ Walsh
DFS edge: If Christian McCaffrey’s preseason usage (89% percent of first-team snaps) continues, he could have workhorse potential in the Panthers offense this season.
He has a nice floor in the passing game regardless, but thankfully, Dallas finished 28th in DVOA at defending running backs as receivers in 2017.
McCaffrey’s matchup sets up well for a huge Week 1. — Joe Holka
Injury watch: The Cowboys will be without safety Xavier Woods (hamstring), and the Panthers will miss receiver Curtis Samuel (irregular heartbeat), but as PJ mentioned earlier, each team’s biggest concern is the offensive line.
Cowboys center Travis Frederick (illness) will miss his first career game, while guard Zack Martin (knee), tackle Tyron Smith (hamstring), and tackle La’el Collins (ankle/calf) will suit up after missing practice time during training camp.
The Panthers will be without left tackle Matt Kalil (knee, IR). guard Amini Silatolu (knee) and right tackle Daryl Williams (knee) might be ready to go after they were able to get in some limited practice time this week. — Ian Hartitz
Trend to know: Good teams from the previous season are often overvalued in Week 1.
Since 2003, teams with a winning record the year before have gone 86-106-6 against the spread (45%) in the opening game. If that team is an underdog, the record falls to 26-43-2 ATS (38%).
Dallas won 9 games in 2017 and is a 2.5-point underdog in Carolina. — John Ewing
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.