Newton and Rebooted Carolina Panthers Look to Overpower Rebuilding, New-Look San Francisco 49ers
Cam Newton and the ‘rebooted’ Carolina Panthers will look to get back to being a legitimate title contenders in the NFC when they kick off their 2017 campaign on the road against a San Francisco 49ers team that has completely overhauled their regime in the hopes of getting back to being perennial winners themselves. Now, let’s find out if Carolina can cover the spread as decisive road NFL Week 1 betting line favorites.
Carolina Panthers Vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Week 1 Betting Line & Pick
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
When: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 4:25 PM ET
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Stream: Fox Sports
Line: Carolina -5.5
Why Bet the Carolina Panthers Line At -5.5
Carolina went 2-2 in the preseason by beating Houston and Jacksonville in Weeks 1 and 3 respectively while losing to Tennessee and Pittsburgh in Weeks 2 and 4. The Panthers fell to 6-9-1 last season and struggled on both sides of the ball by finishing 15th in scoring (23.1 ppg) and a dismal 26th in points allowed (25.1 ppg).
To address their needs, the Panthers drafted gifted running back Christian McCaffrey in the first round and wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the second round to give their offense a big boost while adding veteran defensive end Julius Peppers in free agency. Carolina is looking to keep Cam Newton upright and healthy after he battled injuries all season long a year ago. Defensively, the Panthers have arguably the best trio of linebackers in the league in Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Shaq Thompson and finished fourth in the league in interceptions with 17 last season.
Why Bet the San Francisco 49ers Line At +5.5
San Francisco went 2-2 in the preseason by beating Kansas City and the L.A. Chargers in Weeks 2 and 4 while losing to Denver and Minnesota in Weeks 2 and 3 respectively. Frisco is in all-out rebuilding mode after going 2-14 in the final year of the Chip Kelly era. The 49ers have nowhere to go but up after finishing the 2016 campaign ranked 27th in scoring (19.3 ppg) and a pitiful dead last in points allowed (30.0 ppg).
The Niners have a new GM in John Lynch and a new head coach in former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan but they’re also apparently going with veteran Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback so I wouldn’t expect much out of the Niners offensively until they make the switch to rookie C.J. Beathard who clearly has more talent than Hoyer, if not nearly the experience level.
The Niners added veteran wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin in free agency and grabbed a pair of elite defensive players in first round draft picks Solomon Thomas, a defensive end the Niners got with the third overall pick and freakish linebacker Reuben Foster with the 31st overall pick.
Carolina Panthers Vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Week 1 Expert Pick
There’s no sense in beating around the bush, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are the easy pick to get the win and ATS cover against the rebuilding San Francisco 49ers, especially after seeing as how rookie C.J. Beathard is better than both, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, the two veteran quarterbacks that just so happen to be ahead of him on Frisco’s depth chart.
The Panthers made some really nice additions and I believe they’re going to come out firing on all cylinders to get the commanding road win. Carolina is 4-1 in their last five games on grass and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five road games. San Francisco is 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games in the month of September. The Panthers are the better team on both sides of the ball and will get the SU win and ATS cover as near, touchdown road faves.
Pick: Carolina -5.5