NFL win totals: Panthers set to bounce back?

Matt Youmans  
VSiN senior editor

July 14, 2017 12:07 AM

In quarterback Cam Newton’s MVP season of 2015, Carolina put 500 points on the board and led the NFL in scoring at 31.3 points per game. Last year, the Panthers slipped to 15th in scoring (23.1).
© USA Today Sports Images

On the heels of a poor Super Bowl performance, Cam Newton was kicked around while he was down. The Carolina Panthers and their mercurial quarterback experienced the volatile nature of the NFL last season.

In 2015, Newton was the league Most Valuable Player for a 15-win team. In 2016, the Panthers were 6-10 and sitting at the bottom of their division.

Newton was just another guy, far from Superman, last year. His celebrations were few and far between. He was the fourth-best quarterback in the NFC South behind Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Jameis Winston. Ryan was the new MVP, Brees led the league in passing yards and Winston put up better numbers than Newton, who completed only 52.9 percent of his passes with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

The sting from the Super Bowl loss, after which Newton was ripped by critics, is a distant memory in the Panthers’ rearview mirror.

“It’s going to be a big bounce back for Carolina,” veteran handicapper Hank Goldberg said.

The Panthers’ regular-season win total is 9 (Over minus-125) at the South Point sports book, and Goldberg envisions Carolina returning to double-digit wins by recapturing its form as an explosive offense.

Adding weapons around Newton should help. The Panthers drafted Christian McCaffrey, a versatile running back from Stanford, with the No. 8 pick and took speedy slot receiver Curtis Samuel from Ohio State in the second round.

Newton already had an impressive supporting cast with running back Jonathan Stewart, tight end Greg Olsen and wideouts Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess. The plan, coach Ron Rivera explained, is to build an offense for Newton similar to what Ben Roethlisberger runs for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And it’s a good idea.

In Newton’s MVP season, Carolina put 500 points on the board and led the NFL in scoring at 31.3 points per game. Last year, the Panthers slipped to 15th in scoring (23.1).

“McCaffrey is going to really help Newton, and they will be tough to defend this season,” Goldberg said.

It’s not all about offense, of course. Carolina has one of the league’s elite middle linebackers in Luke Kuechly, who was sidelined by concussion issues and limited to 10 games last season.

Atlanta ranked No. 1 in the league in scoring at 33.8 points per game. The Falcons, the team now hoping to avoid the common Super Bowl hangover, have wide receiver Julio Jones and all sorts of big-play weapons around Ryan.

New Orleans ranked No. 2 in scoring (29.3). The Saints added Adrian Peterson to the backfield with Brees. Tampa Bay is trying to give Winston a boost by bringing in veteran wideout DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard to line up with big wideout Mike Evans.

Goldberg said a “soft schedule” — San Francisco, Buffalo and New Orleans in the first three weeks — gives the Panthers a shot to open the season with success and create momentum.

“Atlanta is still going to be good, but I think that division is going to be there for Carolina to take. Tampa Bay is a team that might be overrated, and New Orleans is a mess,” Goldberg said. “I’m high on the Panthers. I think they can win 11 games.”


Related stories:
South Point opening win totals:
NFL win total opinions:
Testing the Bounce Theory:
Top games of the 2017 season:

NFL Season Win Totals
Posted at South Point sports book
(Opening lines from April 30)

New England Patriots 
Open: 11 Over -120
Current: 12.5 Under -135
Pittsburgh Steelers
Open: 10.5 Over -120
Current: 10.5 Over -135
Seattle Seahawks
Open: 10.5 over/under -110
Current: 10.5 Over -120
Atlanta Falcons
Open: 10 Under -120
Current: 9.5 Over -125
Green Bay Packers
Open: 10 Under -120
Current: 10.5 Under -125
Dallas Cowboys
Open: 9.5 Over -120
Current: 9.5 Over -120
Oakland Raiders
Open: 9.5 Over -120
Current: 9.5 Over -135
Tennessee Titans
Open: 9.5 Under -120
Current: 9 Under -140
Baltimore Ravens
Open: 9.5 Under -125
Current: 9 Under -130
Carolina Panthers
Open: 9 Over -120
Current: 9 Over -125
Kansas City Chiefs
Open: 9 Over -120
Current: 9 Over -130
New York Giants
Open: 9 Over -115
Current: 8.5 Over -135
Indianapolis Colts
Open: 9 Under -115
Current: 8.5 Under -115
Cincinnati Bengals
Open: 8.5 Over -120
Current: 8.5 Under -135
Denver Broncos
Open: 8.5 Over -120
Current: 8.5 Under -145
Houston Texans
Open: 8.5 Over -120
Current: 8.5 Over -115
Minnesota Vikings
Open: 8.5 over/under -110
Current: 8.5 Under -120
Philadelphia Eagles
Open: 8.5 over/under -110
Current: 8 Over -125
New Orleans Saints
Open: 8.5 Under -120
Current: 8 Under -125
Detroit Lions
Open: 8 over/under -110
Current: 7.5 Over -130
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Open: 8 over/under -110
Current: 8 Over -145
Washington Redskins
Open: 7.5 Over -120
Current: 7.5 Under -115
Arizona Cardinals
Open: 7.5 over/under -110
Current: 8.5 Under -120
Los Angeles Chargers
Open: 7.5 over/under -110
Current: 7.5 Under -120
Miami Dolphins
Open: 7.5 over/under -110
Current: 7.5 Under -120
Buffalo Bills
Open: 6 over/under -110
Current: 7 Under -145
Jacksonville Jaguars
Open: 5.5 Over -120
Current: 6.5 Over -130
Los Angeles Rams
Open: 5.5 Over -120
Current: 5.5 Over -125
New York Jets
Open: 5.5 Over -120
Current: 4 Over -120
Chicago Bears
Open: 5 over/under -110
Current: 5 Over -115
San Francisco 49ers
Open: 4.5 over/under -110
Current: 4.5 Over -130
Cleveland Browns
Open: 4 over/under -110
Current: 4.5 Under -115


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