This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions for Week 3
The Carolina Panthers, still in search of their first win, head out west without top overall pick Bryce Young (ankle) to face off with the Seahawks.
Carolina suffered a second straight divisional loss to open the 2023 season when it was tripped up by the Saints, 20-17, on Monday night in Week 2.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks barely avoided falling to 0-2 themselves, coming back to defeat the Lions at Ford Field in overtime by a 37-31 score. After scoring just seven points in the first half, Seattle roared back after halftime by outscoring Detroit by a 30-17 margin the rest of the way.
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds for Week 3
*Best lines at time of writing listed
- Moneyline: Seahawks -230 (FanDuel Sportsbook)/ Panthers +205 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Point spread: Seahawks -5.0 (PointsBet Sportsbook)/ Panthers +5..5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Totals: Over 42 points (FanDuel Sportsbook)/ Under 42.5 points (PointsBet Sportsbook)
Despite the fact that Young consistently struggled over his first two starts, the eventual announcement of his absence late in the week only caused the Panthers' projected disadvantage to grow at one point this week.
Seattle was a -4.5-point favorite before the Panthers' Monday night loss, and that number grew to -5.5 in the immediate aftermath. However, Seattle's projected advantage got as high as -6.5 when it became clear Young would sit out, but it's since been bet back down to 5.5.
The projected total was at 42.5 after the Panthers' loss to the Saints, and that number eventually dipped as low as 41.5 as of early Thursday. However, it's progressively been bet back up to between 42-42.5, perhaps in recognition of the fact Dalton is a proven and competent veteran quarterback.
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks Betting Picks This Week
The beginning of Young's tenure as the Panthers' starting quarterback has been underwhelming to say the least. Carolina will enter Week 3 averaging the sixth-fewest total yards per game (260), an NFC-low 4.1 yards per play and a co-NFL-low 13.5 points per contest.
Young has only completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 299 yards while throwing a pair of interceptions alongside his pair of touchdown passes. The low projected total for this game was initially set with the idea Young would start, and in my view, hasn't seen enough adjustment once it was official Dalton would get the call.
It wouldn't be wise to overstate Dalton's potential impact, but it's also unwise to underestimate it. The veteran signal-caller threw for 2,871 yards with an 18:9 TD:INT over 14 games with the Saints just last season, with the Red Rifle completing 28 passes of 20 or more yards along the way.
Dalton will have the advantage of attacking Seattle's shaky secondary with an eclectic mix of pass catchers that could certainly break off a big play or two. Both starting wideouts Adam Thielen and DJ Chark are capable of getting downfield, while veteran tight end Hayden Hurst is a much better route runner and receiver in the short-to-mid-range passing windows than he ever gets credit for.
In turn, the Seahawks are allowing 30.5 points per game through the first two weeks due in large part to the fact they're conceding 325 passing yards per contest on a bloated 71.2 percent completion rate and 12.5 yards per completion. Dalton, in concert with the aforementioned veteran trio and explosive complementary assets like rookie Jonathan Mingo and even running back Miles Sanders, is more than capable of taking advantage, especially if Jamal Adams (knee) remains out for one more week.
On the other side, Seattle is naturally not without its own impressive weaponry. Kenneth Walker, DK Metcalf (questionable with a rib injury but expected to play), Tyler Lockett and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba are all high-upside players that Geno Smith can leverage to get the ball downfield frequently.
The Panthers are missing ace cornerback Jaycee Horn (IR-hamstring) and appear to have lost linebacker Shaq Thompson for the season with a fibula injury, so the opportunities could be there both on the ground and through the air for the Seahawks.
Panthers @ Seahawks Best Bet: Over 42 points (-108 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Panthers @ Seahawks Prediction
Seahawks 27, Panthers 23
As previously detailed, this is a game that could certainly be more competitive than most might project if the Panthers can keep up their end of the offensive bargain. Dalton shouldn't have too much rust to shake off after appearing in 14 games for the Saints last season, and he has enough skill position weapons around him to make it conceivable he can lead the Panthers to some points against Seattle's inconsistent defense.