C3 On the Line series bets the Carolina Panthers line and discusses the stakes of the game in the context of the Panthers season. This week, we brought in an outsider to give us the insider look at the game and the line from the opposing team’s perspective. CarolinaCatChronicles.com On the Line is not betting advice, but a means for football discussion.
Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos
The 2016 NFL season will kick off with a rematch between last season’s Super Bowl contenders. The last meeting between the two ended badly for Carolina, who fumbled their way to a 24-10 Super Bowl loss. The Panthers, who had the league’s highest-scoring offense throughout the regular season, found themselves stifled by one of better defenses in league history. Clearly the stakes aren’t as high as they were for these teams in December, but there’s still a lot On the Line for both teams.
Professor’s Bet: Panthers -3 (Taking the Over)
Carolina Cat Chronicles
Don’t expect Cam Newton to look pouty this Thursday night. I expect to see a man on a mission. Sure, the Panthers are saying all the right things. “It’s just a game on the schedule.” “It’s not a rematch,” but you know these guys have a score to settle. Winning this week clearly won’t make up for the anti-climatic Super Bowl performance. Winning big, however, will help to set a tone of determination for a Super Bowl Return.
Neither team is the same team they were just seven months ago. Denver, however, has seen the most change. Malik Jackson was poached in free agency, Peyton Manning retired, Brock Osweiler is now in Houston, and the Bronco’s are starting Trevor Siemian, who has never played an NFL down. Even with the weapons that remain, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and CJ Anderson, I wouldn’t bet on a 7th round pick out of Northwestern to deliver against an angered Panthers defense.
Carolina hasn’t had much turnover this offseason either. The changes in Carolina, outside of losing Josh Norman, have come in addition. Last year’s rookies, Shaq Thompson and Devin Funchess, have shown significant development and now Carolina has Kelvin Benjamin back. I’m guessing Aqib Talib will think twice about messing with that manimal like he did with Philly Brown last year. Expect for Carolina to take shots at Talib if he plays. If he doesn’t, he can watch the Panthers offense drive by and send a message in Denver.
Prediction: 34-13 Carolina