Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (11/9/23)

The Carolina Panthers travel to face the Chicago Bears in Thursday Night Football (11/9/23). Get Panthers vs. Bears First Touchdown best bets, as well as a player prop search tool to optimize odds shopping for Thursday night’s game.

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Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears First Touchdown Picks

The goal of the First Touchdown prop is to identify which player will score the first touchdown of the game. Who will score the first touchdown in the Panthers vs. Bears game?

Adam Thielen First Panthers TD (+400 FD) & Tommy Tremble First Panthers TD (+1200 FD)

Chicago’s defense ranks 30th in opponent net yards gained per pass attempt, 31st in opponent dropback expected points added (EPA) per play, and has surrendered the most passing touchdowns per game. To put it bluntly, their secondary is atrocious. On the other hand, they lead the NFL in opponent yards per carry and have given up only four rushing touchdowns all year. Therefore, it’s highly likely that Carolina scores first via a passing touchdown. 

Adam Thielen paces Carolina in essentially every receiving stat out there, including receiving touchdowns and red zone targets. The veteran is clearly Bryce Young’s most talented option, and the first overall pick of the 2023 Draft frequently looks to him as his first read. Carolina’s second option (DJ Chark) is doubtful for this contest, which only boosts Thielen’s touchdown equity. Meanwhile, Tremble ranks third on the team (behind Thielen and Chark) in red zone targets and receiving touchdowns since week five. He will likely be Young’s second option in the red zone here. 

For Thielen’s odds to hold a positive expected value, he must score Carolina’s first touchdown just over 20 percent of the time. However, Tremble needs to hit roughly 8 percent of the time. 

D’Onta Foreman First Bears TD (+250 FD) & Tyson Bagent First Bears TD (+1000 FD)

Carolina’s run defense resembles Chicago’s secondary. The Panthers easily rank dead last in opponent rush EPA per play and have given up the most rushing touchdowns per game. Chicago’s running back room is extremely crowded, which unfortunately makes it difficult to pinpoint one player. 

Although Khalil Herbert is ready to return from injured reserve, D’Onta Foreman is a superior option here. He’s a bruising back that ranks 14th across the NFL in yards after contact per attempt (per PFF, min. 60 attempts). The 236-pound back has the desirable size for goal line settings, and he’s been productive with his red zone carries. 

Finally, Tyson Bagent isn’t afraid to take off running. Through four starts, he owns 97 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Chicago will turn to him in sneak situations, but he could also score on a fake handoff once Carolina’s weak run defense rushes to shore up the interior gaps.  

Foreman needs to score Chicago’s first touchdown about 29 percent of the time, while Bagent must accomplish this task just over 9 percent of the time. Otherwise, the bets won’t be profitable in the long run.  

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Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2021-22 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs about analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions and NBA Analysis Network.

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