Week by Week Analysis of the Panthers Total Wins

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 3:16 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 3:16 PM GMT

Carolina Panthers are flush off an NFC South winning season and a playoff run, albeit short lived. Can the Panthers replicate such form this season? NFL betting trends would suggest not, with the Under 8.5 chalk line on total regular season wins favoured at -140. Join us as we rundown through Panthers NFL Schedule and serve up our analysis and predictions. 

Panthers to Slip this Season
The Panthers were a revelation in 2013, improving from a 7-9 finish in 2012 to a 12-4 finish last season. It marked their first winning record since 2008 and their first playoffs appearance in five years as well. What was supposed to be an offseason in which they would build on that success would appear to be otherwise. Panthers have lost their entire wide receiving corps and a good chunk of their offensive line, and, most concerning, Cam Newton is recovering from ankle surgery, which might heal in time before the NFL 2014-2015 season gets underway but, right now, casts doubt on his ability to perform in the upcoming season.

The Panthers ravaged so, what can we realistically expect from their upcoming campaign? Surely, defending the NFC South title is going to be a tough ask. Their NFL schedule is murderous to begin with, and they’ll have to contend with the likes of in-form Drew Brees and a New Orleans Saints keen to have a crack at it.

 

Week 1 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have undergone a makeover during the offseason, from coaching to quarterback to defense and so on. It’s yet uncertain how these additions will come together. By all accounts, they seem positive, suggesting they could surprise here. This could be a tougher road game than many NFL bettors expect. Given the wholesale changes the Panthers have undergone and if Newton isn’t up to scratch, don’t be surprised if the Buccaneers deliver the first blow to the Panthers on the new season.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 2 vs. Detroit Lions
Detroit’s passing game was their biggest attribute last season. Carolina ranked sixth in the league at stopping the pass. This should be an interesting matchup all things being considered. Based on last season’s results, Panthers should come through with the narrow home win so long as Newton and his new wide receiving corps click.
NFL Pick: Win

Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Underscoring this matchup is an interesting fact: Panthers haven’t beaten Steelers since 1996. That probably doesn’t sit well with the Panthers organisation. If Steelers defense reclaims its previously set lofty standards, then even a 100% Cam Newton, never mind a less than, will have trouble.
NFL Pick: Loss

Week 4 @ Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens are tough to beat at home. In the last three seasons, they only lost four home games (6-2 in 2012 and 2013, and 8-0 in 2011). Cam Newton could have his work cut out for him with a wide receiving corps he’s yet to get fully acquainted with. What’s more, Steven Smith is now a Raven, and he’s keen to show up his former team.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 5 vs. Chicago Bears
Chicago are coming off an 8-8 season, which included a modest 3-5 record on the road, victories against the Steelers (40-23), Green Bay 27-20) and Cleveland (38-31). This isn’t a side to underestimate, especially when it comes to their ability to score points. On the defensive side of the ball they are a bit porous, which could augur well for the home team.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 6 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Everything about this matchup suggests a tight affair, with both teams boasting strong defensive numbers on the board last season. What’s more, Bengals went undefeated at home with an 8-0 mark last season while the Panthers went 5-3 on the road. Something is going to have to give here, especially when both sides underwent significant changes in the offseason. It’s a tossup, really. Faced to make a decision, we’re giving it to the visiting team narrowly.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 7 @ Green Bay Packers
Packers boast one of the most lethal offenses in the league. There is no shortage of weapons at their disposal, which suggests that Aaron Rodgers and Company should light up the scoreboard, delivering one of Panthers’ worst defeats on the season. Panthers defense will be sorely tested.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 8 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Last season, Panthers opened with a 12-7 defeat to Seattle at home. This time around, they take on Seattle after a trip to Green Bay – the NFL schedulers have a cruel sense of humour. Expect another defensive struggle between these two outfits, but a depleted Panthers offense will be hard pressed to come up with answers. Seattle should enjoy a more convincing win.
NFL Picks: Loss

 

Week 9 vs. New Orleans Saints
Expectations in NFL betting circles run high where the Saints are concerned: they are one of several dark horses to win outright at +1800, behind Hawks, Broncos, Niners, Patriots and Packers. Drew Brees is playing some of the best football of his career, and the team as a whole is solid on both sides of the ball. This is a road game for the Saints – they were only 3-5 last season on the road – but if there were a winnable road game, this could be it.
NFL Picks: Loss

 

Week 10 @ Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles was a revelation last season, proving a very offensive-minded quarterback. Yet, the Panthers will give him a run for his money. Panthers defense could rise to the occasion while Newton does his part moving the ball down the field.
NFL Pick: Win

Week 11 vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are after a disappointing 4-12 season, which saw them finish bottom of the pile in the NFC South. The result was all the more shocking after a stellar 2012 season in which they finished 13-3 (7-1 at home and 6-2 on the road). All depends on whether we see the Atlanta of 2012 or the Atlanta of 2013. In any event, this is a home game the Panthers should win.
NFL Picks: Win

 

Week 12  - Bye

 

Week 13 @ Minnesota Vikings
There are many questions hanging over Vikings ahead of the new season. It’s hard to determine what to expect from them, but cautious NFL bettors have set the bar low. In lieu of these, Panthers could roll into town and take the road win.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 14 @ New Orleans Saints
This matchup could prove a deciding divisional battle between the top favourites in the NFC South to win – Saints are matched at +140 while the Panthers are matched at +225. Last season, it was so. This year, however, we expect the Saints to turn the tables. Drew Brees and his Saints will be tough to beat in the Superdome, hostile territory for just about any NFL side (they went 8-0 at home last season). If the Panthers could deliver the road win, it would be quite the statement. More likely, than not, the Saints will win at home.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 15 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have enjoyed several improvements on both sides of the ball during the offseason. Are those enough to suggest they could roll into town and take the road win? We’re going to say, no.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 16 vs. Cleveland Browns
This is a matchup Carolina Panthers should win at home. Cleveland Browns are slated for some growing pains this season with a revamped side and rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel most likely to get the start. Newton and Co. should ride roughshod over the visitors.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 17 @ Atlanta Falcons
If Atlanta’s woes from the 2013 season spill forth into this new term, Cam Newton and Company – even with some of their key losses this season – should be able to win handily. That said the Falcons are expected to be slightly more competitive than they were last season – they are third in play for the NFC South title at +275. If they are going to make good on that score, winning at home is going to play a bit part.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

NFL Betting Verdict
By our conservative – if random – estimation, we have the Panthers finishing the season with an 8-8 win totals or thereabouts. (Taking into consideration the few tossups, the balance swings from a low of 6-10 to a high of 10-6 by our calculations). In any event, we’re leaning towards the lower end of the 8.5 NFL Odds, which yields the Under at -140 as the choice NFL Pick

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