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Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Predictions, Odds, Picks and NFL Week 1 Betting Preview – September 8, 2016

Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Predictions, Odds, Picks and NFL Week 1 Betting Preview – September 8, 2016


Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Preview

Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado

When: Thursday, September 8, 8:30 PM ET

Line: Carolina Panthers (-3) vs. Denver Broncos (+3); total 41.5 – view all NFL lines

TV Broadcast: NBC

Writer’s Pick: Carolina Panthers (-3)


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Betting on the Carolina Panthers (-3)

You better believe the Panthers are still smarting from their Super Bowl 50 defeat at the hands of the Broncos. After a magical 15-1 regular season, Cam Newton and the Panthers offense were stopped in their tracks by the Broncos’ suffocating defense.

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The Panthers O-line, in particular, was manhandled by the vaunted Broncos pass rush led by Von Miller. The line did not make any significant changes for this season, but don’t immediately assume a repeat performance.

The Panthers line was one of the very best in the league up until that game, and they will definitely be primed to make up for their poor showing. They also won’t be going against as deep and devastating a Denver D-line after it lost a key piece in Malik Jackson.

An improved performance from the line should only help Newton, who had his worst game of an otherwise incredible season at the Super Bowl. Newton set new career-bests in passer rating (99.4) and touchdown passes (35) en route to winning the league’s MVP award.

Newton, who is priced at +700 to repeat as MVP, is also set to have top receiver Kelvin Benjamin back after he missed all of last season with a knee injury. Benjamin had over 1,000 yards and nine touchdown catches as a rookie.

Also, don’t forget how well the Panthers defense played in the Super Bowl. They limited the Broncos offense to just 194 total yards and forced them to two turnovers. They faced a clearly limited Peyton Manning in that matchup, and will now face an even lesser quarterback in Trevor Siemian, a former 7th-round pick who will be making his first career NFL start.

Betting on the Denver Broncos (+3)

The Broncos defense put in a simply otherworldly performance at the Super Bowl. Von Miller – the game’s MVP – was just unplayable as he had 2.5 sacks and forced two turnovers, both of which eventually resulted in a touchdown. The question now is whether Miller and co. can do it again, because the offense is highly unlikely to lead the Broncos to a win.

With Manning’s retirement and Mark Sanchez’s cut-worthy performance in preseason, Siemian is now set to step in as the starting quarterback. The 24-year-old has yet to throw a single NFL pass, and wasn’t even that impressive in college. He threw 27 touchdowns against 24 interceptions in four years at Northwestern. However, the Broncos are still +195 co-favorites to defend their AFC West title despite having Siemien at the helm.

The Broncos will likely limit Siemian’s role on the offense against Carolina, and lean more on the running game. C.J. Anderson had some semblance of success against the Panthers in the Super Bowl, rushing for 90 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown.

However, they’ll need Siemian to come through and make smart plays at some point against this Panthers defense, which, unlike Peyton Manning, is hardly guaranteed. The offensive line also remains a bit of an issue despite some offseason changes, and could struggle keeping the young quarterback free from pressure.

Despite the loss of Jackson and Danny Trevathan, the Broncos defense still figures to be one of the best in the league. But with all of the offense’s significant shortcomings, it’s tough to see that defense being good enough to beat a very good Panthers team twice in a row.

Writer’s Prediction

The Broncos just can’t overcome the offensive disparity with Siemian at quarterback. The Panthers are just the better team overall, and they show it at Mile High. Take Carolina (-3) to win and cover, 24-17.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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