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NFL win totals: Panthers set to bounce back?

By 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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