NFL Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers
Thursday Night Football Free Pick 9-08-16
The 2016 football season begins with a Super Bowl rematch of Panthers vs Broncos. This is the first week 1 Super Bowl rematch since 1970 when the Vikings faced the Chiefs. The 2016 NFL season kickoff game airs Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. EST, on NBC. The Panthers went 15-1 last season, while the Broncos posted a 12-4 record, and defeated the Panthers 24-10 in last year’s Superbowl. The Broncos were a 4.5 point dog in that game.
Carolina Panthers (0-0) vs. Denver Broncos (0-0)
NFL: Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 8:30pm EST
Line: Carolina -3
Money Line: Panthers -180, Broncos +160
Current Live Lines from Bovada
About The Carolina Panthers
It was almost seven months ago to the day that the Broncos defeated Carolina 24-10 at Super Bowl 50. Last season the Panthers averaged a league leading 31.3 points per game. The Carolina defense held opponents to 19.3 points per game last year, good for sixth in the NFL. Panthers’ superstar quarterback and league MVP, Cam Newton threw for 3,800 yards with 35 touchdowns. He will have another weapon to utilize this season in wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin who missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL after 2014 rookie season where he produced over 1000 yards with nine touchdowns. Greg Olsen had a career year in 2015, catching for over 1100 yards, ranking him second behind only Rob Gronkowski, to go along with seven touchdowns.
The Panthers lost cornerback Josh Norman who was picked up by the Washington Redskins this season, but the Panthers still have a solid defensive unit. Linebacker Luke Kuechly had offseason surgery and is 100% healthy and ready to try and repeat his 2015 numbers, 118 tackles with four interceptions in 13 regular season games. Defensive tackle Vernon Butler, from Louisiana Tech, was picked up in the first round by the Panthers in the 2016 NFL draft.
Carolina Panthers Betting Trends
Carolina is 17-2 SU in its last 19 games
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Carolina’s last 17 games
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Carolina’s last 17 games on the road
Carolina is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games on the road
Carolina is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Carolina’s last 5 games when playing Denver
Carolina is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Denver
About the Denver Broncos
The defending Super Bowl champions look a bit different this NFL season. Last year the Broncos were led by Peyton Manning who had one of the greatest NFL careers any quarterback ever had. Manning has retired, and the new Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian (preseason 20 of 31 passes for one touchdown but threw two interceptions.) is taking over in his second year. I know a lot will be made about the loss of Manning but, in many games Manning did absolutely nothing to help the team. Last years team won with the best defense in the NFL and a solid running game. This year I expect the Broncos will once again be focused on rushing, with running backs like C.J. Anderson leading the way.
The thing to remember about the Broncos is that they won last year because of the best defense in the NFL and most of the defense returns intact. Aqib Talib who had three interceptions last season, along with Chris Harris who had two picks with 58 tackles in 2015. Von Miller who had 11 sacks with 35 tackles last season. Miller was all over Newton in the Superbowl, making six tackles with 2.5 sacks.
The Broncos only averaged 22.2 points per game on offense last season, ranking them 19th overall. The Denver defense allowed an average of 18.5 points per game, placing them fourth overall.
Denver Broncos Betting Trends
Denver is 2-3-2 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games
Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Broncos are 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Denver is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver’s last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games when playing Carolina
Denver is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Carolina
Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers NFL Prediction
The last time these two teams met the Panthers were 4.5 point favorites. A lot was made of how Peyton Manning won his final game. However, the Broncos only had three touchdowns in that game and it was the Broncos defense that held the Panthers to only 10 points that won the Super bowl.
Can I trust Siemian who did not stand out in the preseason? There has been a lot of press on the quarterback position. Both Cam Newton and Peyton Manning made the highlights. Everything was about them but, football more than any other sports is a team game. Take a look at the offensive and defensive units that will be on the field and the best one belongs to the Broncos defense. If you go back and take a look at the Super Bowl, the one thing that stands out above all else is that the Panthers offensive line had no answer for the Broncos pass rush. What has changed to alter that? Nothing, the weakness for Carolina is still the offensive line. They also lost the best defensive back on the team and the will alter the type of coverage that they can use.
Do you want to know where to look for prop bets on big games!
I will be taking the home dog and the three points. Last year Manning’s job was not to lose games. That is all this team needs Siemian to do. They have a coach who understands that and will design a game plan to keep the score low and the game close. Taking the three points because I do not see either team winning by more than that. Sorry Cam, you will be running for you life again and will not have a big night until your team goes out and gets a top offensive tackle.