NFL Futures Picks: Panthers Total Season Wins

Carolina Panthers NFL Futures Odds

Nikki Adams

Sunday, July 10, 2016 5:33 PM GMT

As the Carolina Panthers gun for a fourth consecutive division title, bookies push their projected season win total to 10.5. We breakdown the NFL schedule and serve up game-by-game NFL picks.

Carolina Panthers 2015 Look Back 
After a bizarre 2013-2014 season in which the Carolina Panthers won the NFC South behind a subpar season that fell under .500, Ron Rivera’s side proved to be a complete and utter revelation in 2015. Bursting out of the gates, riding the momentum of a four-game regular season winning streak in 2014, they reeled off another 14 wins before their magical run ended in week 16, a week away from their regular season curtain call. So close to pulling off the improbable 16-0 SU season they were. In any event, the loss proved a moot point as the Panthers went all the way to winning the NFC Championship game over the Cardinals before succumbing to only their second defeat of the season in the Super Bowl (l. to Denver Broncos).

On paper, it was one of the most remarkable seasons by any team in the league. Small consolation though such praise is when the Panthers failed to win the most important game of the season. Superman Cam Newton’s post-game interview said it all. Well, he didn’t say much, really. Prompting many to dub him a sore loser, which is a harsh criticism to levy on a player that’s still reeling from disappointment. Winning had become a habit in 2015 for Cam and the Panthers. To reach the Super Bowl is an achievement in itself, the biggest moment in his young career, but you can bet he’d expected to win it. Only he didn’t. The Sheriff did. It goes to show just how mutually exclusive the regular and post-season can be.

Predictably, high expectations are placed on the Carolina Panthers in 2016. Sportsbooks, to begin with, hang their season on a 10.5 projected season win total with the OVER favoured at -140 NFL odds (the UNDER is priced at +110). They also expect Panthers to win NFC South division as the -220 favourites, backed in well ahead of the triplet of Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They roll out Panthers as joint favourites with Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC Championship title (both priced at +400 NFL odds with bet365). Finally, they serve up the Panthers as the second-best bet after the Seahawks to win Super Bowl L1.

So, no pressure.

Obviously, one cannot ignore what the Panthers accomplished in 2015 but – and this is very relevant – it needs to be put into context of the NFL schedule. After all, no two teams play the exact same schedule and who they pay, where they travel and when they travel has an impact on games. The Panthers had the fourth easiest NFL schedule in 2015 with a winning percentage of 0.434.

In 2016, things aren’t so favourable on paper. The Panthers receive the 12th toughest NFL schedule with a winning percentage of 0.512. Granted it could be tougher but it’s still a step up in difficulty that can’t be ignored. Not least of all they’ve received a franchise-record five primetime games. Reasonably, given all these intriguing facets to the Carolina Panthers’ 2016 NFL schedule, there are those NFL bettors that would argue the bookies are slightly guilty of overcooking  expectations and, in turn, the NFL odds trading for the Panthers.

How the Panthers will actually fare remains to be seen, but, for now, we can speculate in this bold, yet way too early, game-by-game preview and serve up choice win-loss NFL picks. Keep in mind, these are merely predictions and not fact so take with a large pinch of salt.

 

Week 1 vs. Denver (away), Thursday, September 8
The Carolina Panthers get the season underway at Mile High, a game they’ll be itching to get their revenge in. Apparently, Super Cam has already mentioned as much in an Instagram post. After all, it’s the Super Bowl rematch with the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. A lot has changed in Denver, mainly Peyton Manning’s retirement. There are quarterback question marks in Denver, which make it difficult to back the hosts even if they have a solid defense that figures to be formidable once again this season. If it comes down to Cam Newton vs. Mark Sanchez, we’d probably much rather take Cam Newton. Then again, the altitude is something that has caused great quarterbacks issues in the past, including Tom Brady and the Patriots. Heck, Brock Osweiler led the Broncos to a win over the Patriots at Mile High last season. Can’t say we’re totally sold on Osweiler either. It’s a tossup. We’re going to be contrarian here and mark this NFL pick down as a surprising loss.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 0-1

 

Week 2 vs. San Francisco, Sunday, September 18
The Panthers open their season at home with the San Francisco 49ers and Chip Kelly visiting. Given the uncertainty in the Niners’ camp and the question marks surrounding Colin Kaepernick, whether he’ll remain a Niner never mind win the starting job from Blaine Gabbert. This has to go down as a home win for the Panthers on our NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 1-1

 

Week 3 vs. Minnesota, Sunday, September 25
The Minnesota Vikings descend on Bank of America in week 3 of the NFL betting season. The reigning NFC North champions are no slouches so it would be unfair to dismiss them out of hand. The Vikings defense are sure to give Cam Newton headaches and rise to the occasion but the Panthers defense can stifle Vikings offense too. It could be a close one between these two viable contenders on the 2016 season, but, home edge tips the balance to the Panthers. Having said that we won’t be shocked at all if the Vikings mastermind the upset. They surprised many powerhouse teams last season so this isn’t a sure bet at all.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 2-1

 

Week 4 vs. Atlanta (away), Sunday, October 2
The Panthers descend on the Georgia Dome in week 14 of the NFL betting season, the scene of their only loss last season. The Falcons won 20-13 against the NFL odds to snap the Panthers winning run of form at 18 straight in the regular season, going back to the end of the 2014-2015 season. One could argue there’s a revenge twist here, but, that ignores the fact that it’s a divisional rivalry that both teams will be up for. Falcons have something to prove in 2016 under second-year coach Dan Quinn. It would shock us if the Falcons defend home territory and win at the expense of their divisional rivals.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 2-2

 

Week 5 vs. Tampa Bay, Monday, October 10
The Carolina Panthers swept the series with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, winning 37-23 in Tampa and 38-10 at home. Hard to see that domination changing even if the Bucs are expected to be better this season and Jameis Winston is a legitimate talent on the rise. Experience, team ethos and a system in place with Ron Rivera at the helm give the Panthers the significant edge in this Monday Night extravaganza at home. Bucs have a new coach after firing Lovie Smith; bound to be some growing pains in Florida.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 3-2

 

Week 6 vs. New Orleans (away), Sunday, October 16
As with the Bucs, the Panthers swept the series with the Saints, winning 27-22 at home and 41-38 at the Superdome. The latter of which was one of the most thrilling shootouts of the season, with end to end action. The Panthers have won two straight at the Superdome and they’ll be looking to make it three in a row. Saints’ defense doesn’t strike a convincing pose, but Drew Brees can light up and lift the Saints to the win.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 3-3

 

Week 7 BYE 

 

Week 8 vs. Arizona, Sunday, October 30
The Panthers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, a loss that sits heavy with Bruce Aryan’s side. It’s a rematch of that rather lopsided affair – Panthers won 49-15. Ouch. There’s a sense that this game is going to be a lot closer than it was then without the pressure of advancing into the Super Bowl hanging over their heads. Carson Palmer should be much calmer under these circumstances and the Cardinals defense won’t mess about.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 3-4

 

Week 9 vs. Los Angeles (away), Sunday, November 6
The Carolina Panthers descend on the Los Angeles Rams in week 9 of the NFL betting season, who traded a ton of draft picks to the Tennesee Titans to acquire the No.1 draft pick, Jared Goff. There are a lot of interesting pieces in the Rams locker room and their defense is nothing to sneeze at. But Panthers should be able to get a road win here over the rookie quarterback.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 4-4

 

Week 10 vs. Kansas City, Sunday, November 13
Carolina Panthers welcome the Kansas City Chiefs in Charlotte in week 10 NFL betting. The Chiefs got off to an awful start last season before turning things around with a 10-game winning streak to finish the regular season. They also snuffed out J.J. Watt and the Texans 30-0 in the wildcard round of the playoffs. The Chiefs stack up well and could give Cam Newton and the Panthers a run for their money, but the Panthers should get the job done at home.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 5-4

 

Week 11 vs. New Orleans, Thursday, November 17
The New Orleans Saints are not the same team on the road. The Superdome is where they play their best football, even if it isn’t the fortress it once was. Drew Brees and the Saints could have a tough day in Charlotte as these divisional rivals split the series.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 6-4

 

Week 12 vs. Oakland (away), Sunday, November 27
Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders showed a lot of promise in 2015 and many figure they’ll be better this year. They showed they could pull off an upset or two last season as well, which has us considering this game as a bit of a trap bet. The Raiders could pull off the upset.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record 6-5

 

Week 13 vs. Seattle (away), Sunday, December 4
The Panthers have had success at CenturyLink Field in recent seasons, including last year’s 27-23 win over the Seahawks in Seattle. These two teams stack up very well and while Russell Wilson and Company are going to be looking for revenge in this game they did lose a lot of talented players in the offseason. It’s quite possible Cam Newton and the Panthers serve up another upset in Seattle.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 7-5

 

Week 14 vs. San Diego, Sunday, December 11
San Diego were awful last season and finished at the bottom of the AFC West pile with a 4-12 SU record. Phillip Rivers may be an elite quarterback in the eyes of many NFL bettors, but we’re just not buying what the Chargers are selling. They were 1-7 SU on the road last season and we figure they won’t be any better this term.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 8-5

 

Week 15 vs. Washington (away), Monday, December 19
The last time the Redskins and Panthers collided the latter won 44-16. On both sides of the ball, the Panthers are much tougher and stronger than the Redskins. In a matchup between Cam Newton and Kirk Cousins, it’s a no brainer.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 9-5

 

Week 16 vs. Atlanta, Saturday, December 24
The Panthers and Falcons collide at the Bank of America stadium in what could be a pivotal clash in the context of the division and the playoffs. The Panthers split the series with the Falcons last season with each side winning at home, but the Panthers really embarrassed the Falcons in the 38-0 win. Falcons will be up for this clash and could give the Panthers a run for their money, but the Panthers edge this one out at home.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 10-5

 

Week 17 vs. Tampa Bay (away), Sunday, January 1
Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers close the season against the Carolina Panthers. It’s unlikely they’ll be playing for anything meaningful at this stage – too many offseason changes in Tampa Bay make it a longshot for Mike Smith to put a stamp on his new team to take them into the postseason. The Panthers have had Tampa’s number for some time and this should be another W in the win column.

NFL Picks: Win
Record 11-5

 

NFL Projected Season Win Totals
If you want, this is a bit of a bold predictions piece for the Panthers, the manner in which we envision they start their season could be a sore point with their fans. Don’t expect it’s going to go down well with the Panthers’ faithful at all. Bound to even serve up some rants in the comments below. Consider the Seattle Seahawks last season, who after losing to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl came out flat at the start of the season. Post Super Bowl hangover? Whatever the reason, they went into the bye week with a modest 4-3 SU record. Only after the bye week did they perk up behind a 6-2 SU record and finished the term with a 10-5 SU record. We have to agree that it’s very possible the Panthers will experience a similar such postseason hangover.

Look, we’re not saying this isn’t a contending team. On the contrary, the Panthers were a great team last season and should be again this year. Expecting them to repeat a 15-1 SU record or to better it is a long shot. Doesn’t happen in the NFL very often. Undoubtedly, we expect them to have a winning season regardless, but we can see them falling anywhere between 10 to 12 wins on the season. That has them on either side of the projected season win total of 10.5 that bookies are trading on the NFL odds board. We’re going with the Panthers just cracking the 10.5 total so our recommended NFL pick is the OVER 10.5, but, it’s worth noting, it won’t surprise us if they fall just marginally UNDER either.

NFL Picks: Over 10.5 at -140