While they are still a year or two removed from being a Super Bowl contender, let’s see what kind of value the Panthers will give us when September rolls around.
Look at our NFC South Future Odds to see where we think that the Panthers will end up in the division.
Super Bowl (+4000)
This is a pretty solid price for this team. They are tied with their divisional rival the Bucs in the future odds, and while they might end up being an above .500 team SU next season, I sincerely doubt they cover more than 50% of their 2013 games. The Panthers have the hardest strength of schedule according to their opponents’ 2012 winning percentage, and while I really like their improvements this offseason, I think we might have to sell on the Panthers this season. They are going to have a nice offense and a much improved defensive line, but I see them going 8-8 both SU and ATS in 2012.
Still pretty adequately priced here at +2200 in the NFL Odds, but looking at how good the NFC South is and how balanced the whole conference is to begin with, you would be better served buying lottery tickets than wagering the Panthers to win the conference. The question is where is any value will we find with Carolina? The value they had last season was on the road, where they were an outstanding 6-2 ATS when playing away from Charlotte. Once again, with the troublesome schedule ahead, I can’t see the Panthers doing that again. Trips to San Francisco and Miami along with their regular trips to Atlanta and New Orleans won’t be kind.
As I stated in my video on the Panthers, I really like some of the improvements they have been making, but I am hesitant to believe they can go above .500 ATS again. I’m seeing more of an improvement on their SU record this season.
The Panthers have made a ton (literally) of improvements on their defensive line this offseason. They drafted to defensive tackles with their first two picks in the draft, and in free agency they resigned both Andre Neblett and Dwan Edwards, both defensive tackles.
Other improvements were made in the secondary and in the wide receiver position. The Panthers signed Drayton Florence and his 18 career interceptions to play corner, and they signed Ted Ginn Jr and Domenik Hixon to help out at WR.
All in all, I think they will be both 8-8 ATS and SU this season. They are still the third best team in that division and even though they had some road value last season, I think that goes away this season. The Panthers aren’t surprising anyone like they have the last two seasons. After two years of making money ATS, this is the year we start fading the Panthers with our NFL picks.