Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Betting Guide

Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Betting Guide

Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Betting Guide

After winning a surprising 12 games last season to nab the NFC South division crown for the first time since 2008, the Carolina Panthers (12-4, 9-6-1 ATS, 5-11 O/U) are and looking to take another step in their evolution into Super Bowl title contender.

Head Coach Ron Rivera is already in game mode after the New England Patriots did what the New England Patriots do.

After losing sixth-round pick Tyler Gaffney to a season ending knee injury, the Panthers tried to free up a roster spot as most teams do by letting the former star Stanford running back slip through waivers quietly and land on the injured reserve. However, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick went all in with a roster move that most consider an ethical gray area, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Rivera said he was surprised by the Patriots’ waiver claim, although maybe he shouldn’t have been. New England has claimed injured players three times since 2010 when teams tried to slide them through waivers.

Why would New England claim a player who injured his knee during his one and only preseason play with Carolina?

“First of all, there aren’t any unwrittens… If a player’s on waivers, he’s on waivers, ours or anybody else’s. I don’t know what unwrittens you’re talking about,” Belichick has said earlier.

Betting On The Carolina Panthers To Win the 2015 Super Bowl

Carolina Panthers +3300

Analysis: While I think it’s an undeniable fact that it’s going to be very tough for the Carolina Panthers to duplicate their 12-win season of a year ago, I don’t think it’s out of the question – and certainly believe the Panthers warrant a wager against their season-long NFL Super Bowl 49 Futures odds.

Carolina ranked 11th in rushing despite not having a 1,000-yard rusher, but the team’s passing attack needs to improve from its dismal 29th overall ranking under Newton last season.

The loss of franchise-leading wide receiver Steve Smith won’t help that cause, but Carolina did try to replace one of the team’s biggest locker room leaders by drafting Kelvin Benjamin with their first round draft pick (No. 28) and adding veteran wideouts, Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery in free agency.

Whether the Panthers can find more balance on offense or not, one thing that is rock solid in Carolina is the team’s voracious defense, led by Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly.

The Panthers finished sixth against the pass (214.3 ypg) and second against the run (86.9 ypg) while also finishng second to San Francisco in points allowed (15.1 ppg).

Make no mistake about it, they might not be the favorites, but the Carolina Panthers do have the look of a legitimate title contender and again, are worthy of a Super Bowl 49 NFL: Futures odds wager.

Betting On The Carolina Panthers To Win the NFC South

  • Carolina Panthers +100
  • New Orleans Saints +110
  • Atlanta Falcons +275
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +650

Analysis: The Panthers won five of their six division games last season while going 4-2 ATS against their NFC South rivals in 2013. Going one step further, the Panthers have been very consistent against their division rivals, going 7-3 SU and ATS over their last 10 games against their division foes.

This season however, I think Carolina could take a very slight step backwards, allowing New Orleans to slip in and take the division crown. I personally like the Saints here, but I will admit that Carolina could hold them off to validate their odds as the favorite to win the division.

My Pick: Carolina to Finish Second in the NFC South

Betting On The Carolina Panthers To Win In Week One

  • Carolina -1.5 at Tampa Bay
  • Over/Under 39.5

I like the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s additions of widely respected head coach Lovie Smith and veteran quarterback Josh McCown, but I think it’s going to take some time for the Bucs to jell and improve to where they can beat the Panthers, so I’m going to urge you to back Carolina as a very slight road fave in this Week 1 matchup.

While Carolina has gone just 4-6 SU and ATS in its last 10 games as a favorite of less than two points, the Panthers are also 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games against the Bucs.

Both Carolina and Tampa Bay have won just three of their last 10 games in the month of September with the Panthers going 5-5 ATS over the stretch and the Bucs 6-4 ATS.

Still, the Panthers should be able to nab the outright road win seeing as how they’ve won seven of their last 10 away from home.

My Pick: Tampa Bay +1.5 Points

Carolina Panthers Betting Tips

Analysis: The Carolina Panthers might be a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the loaded NFC, but they’ve been a bad bet as a favorite of four points or less, going 4-6 SU and ATS in their last 10 such contests. Conversely, when they’re a dog of four points or less, Carolina has gone a polar opposite 6-4 SU and ATS.

The Panthers have won five of their last six road games, so that’s something for SU Money Line lovers to look out for this coming season. Carolina ‘s numbers get even better when they play at home, with Cam Newton and company compiling a glistening 8-2 SU mark and bankroll-boosting 7-2-1 ATS mark over the span.

The Panthers play the AFC North’s four teams this season and things don’t look so hot for Carolina when you look at their history against the division. The Panthers are just 3-7 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games against AFC North ballclubs.

Carolina faces five consecutive 2013 playoff participants starting in Week 6 but closes out their 2014 regular season with three straight contests against teams that didn’t make the postseason a year ago.

Nevertheless, I see the Panthers taking a slight step backwards this coming season, possibly to nine wins in what I expect to be an even more competitive NFC in 2014.

I’m also expecting the Panthers to produce a lot of Under outcomes this coming season much like they did in recording 11 Under outcomes a year ago.

Carolina could challenge for a conference or they could fall back to the pack a bit and become something closer to a Wild Card contender. I’m going with the latter, at least until I see some improved passing from Cam Newton.

Last but certainly not least is the lone distraction the Panthers have right now, the recent conviction of Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy for assaulting an ex-girlfriend.  

"I hate that I have distracted my team, but other than that I really can’t answer that question," he said when asked by reporters whether he’s been a distraction or not.

Carolina Panthers Projected 2014 Starters

Offense

Defense

QB

Cam Newton

DE

Charles Johnson

RB

DeAngelo Williams  /  Jonathan Stewart

DT

Star Lotulelei

FB

Mike Tolbert

DT

Kawann Short

WR1

Jerricho Cotchery

DE

Greg Hardy

WR2

Kelvin Benjamin

MLB

Luke Kuechly

TE

Greg Olsen

WLB

Thomas Davis

LT

Byron Bell

CB1

Melvin White

LG

Amini Silatolu

CB2

Antoine Cason

C

Ryan Kalil

CB3

Charles Godfrey

RG

Trai Turner

SS

Roman Harper

RT

Garry Williams

FS

Thomas DeCoud