Carolina Panthers 2015: NFL Odds - Super Bowl Predictions

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Monday, 03 August 2015 13:54
2015 Carolina Panthers Odds & NFL Predictions 2015 Carolina Panthers Odds & NFL Predictions

If not for a Top 10 defense, the Carolina Panthers might have found themselves with a Top 10 draft pick in 2015. Instead, the Panthers found themselves with their second consecutive NFC South Division title and a win in the playoffs over the Arizona Cardinals. Amazingly, Carolina started the season 3-8-1, but with four straight wins to close the season, the Panthers were able to win the NFL’s weakest division. It was defense that allowed them to do it and if they are to win the division a third consecutive time head coach Ron Rivera’s squad will once again do it with defense. NFL odds have the Carolina Panthers listed as +200 favorites to win the NFC South but besides that, are longshots to win the NFC Conference at +2200 and +4000 in Super Bowl predictions to win the championship.

The Panthers have arguably the best linebacking tandem in the NFL with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. Add in rookie first-round draft pick Shaq Thompson and Carolina has the makings of one of the league’s best front sevens. The Panthers did let Greg Hardy and all of his drama go. Hardy was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys. Second-year DE Kony Ealy and third-year DT Star Lotulelei are future stars and will need to step up this season if the defense is to finish in the top ten for the fourth consecutive year. Carolina’s offense regressed in 2014 and was one of the reasons for the poor start. The Panthers will continue to be more of a run-first offense, though this season physical Jonathan Stewart will carry most of the load. The franchise’s leading rusher, DeAngelo Williams is now a Pittsburgh Steeler. Stewart led the team in rushing last year with 809 yards on 175 carries and was instrumental in Carolina’s final four games. The Panthers rushed for more yards than any team in the NFL over the season’s last quarter.

Quarterback Cam Newton enters his fifth season at the helm of the Panthers offense. He will need to improve upon his touchdown-to-interception ratio (18-12) if Carolina is to defy Super Bowl predictions as heavy underdogs. Newton has the threats to do so with WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen. Both recorded 1,008 yards receiving in 2014, the first time since 1999 that the Panthers had two 1,000-yard receivers. Carolina added Ted Ginn and Jarrett Boykin to a very deep receiving corps that also features 12-year veteran Jerricho Cotchery and rookie Devin Funchess. An improved Newton and offensive line – the Panthers signed OT Michael Oher in the offseason – should help the Panthers in their quest for a third straight division title in the 2015 NFC South. The problem is the schedule. After a bye in week five, Carolina faces Seattle, Philadelphia, Indianapolis on Monday night, and Green Bay. If they can weather that storm, another division title would be well deserved.

Panthers Update (9/12/15): Carolina are now +5000 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +2500 to win the NFC Conference and +275 to win the NFC South.

Last modified on Saturday, 12 September 2015 11:24

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    The Chip Kelly experiment continues as new starting quarterback Sam Bradford takes over one of the NFL’s best offenses. Kelly, of course, is well known for his offensive innovations and has helped the Philadelphia Eagles to back-to-back 10-plus win seasons. The Eagles get a chance to continue and get back to the postseason when they open Monday Night Football with a trip to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons. Bradford, who has missed the better part of the past two seasons with knee injuries, is finally healthy enough and is in command of the up-tempo Eagles offense. He is surrounded by a wealth of talent including last year’s NFL rushing leader RB DeMarco Murray. Jordan Matthews and rookie Nelson Agholor give Bradford youth but ample talent at the wide receiver positions. Eagles vs Falcons odds favor Philadelphia on the road by a field goal (-3) while NFL picks for week 1 on the over/under total are set at 55½.

    The former Rams QB, Bradford was the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year after starting all 16 games. He then played in roughly half of the team’s next 64 games suffering knee injuries in consecutive seasons. The Eagles opponent, Atlanta, welcomes new head coach Dan Quinn, former defensive coordinator in Seattle. Quinn’s first task will be improving a defense that finished dead last in the league in total yards allowed per game (398.3). Quinn and the Falcons selected undersized hybrid LB/DE Vic Beasley of Clemson in the first round and acquired Adrian Clayborn in the offseason to help. Along with LB Justin Durant, the defense should improve at least enough to take some of the pressure off of the offense. If Atlanta is going to have any chance of covering the spread as home underdogs in Eagles vs Falcons odds, the defense must be able to slow down the potent Philly offense.

    Quarterback Matt Ryan enjoyed his fourth straight 4,000-yard season last year, but he and the rest of the Falcons offense must work under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan this season. There have been some struggles with the new zone-running based offense and problems with the offensive line have not helped. Atlanta has actually beaten Philadelphia the past two times that the two teams have met. Ryan threw for seven touchdowns in those two meetings. It is doubtful he will have that kind of success Monday night. Look for Philadelphia to have a lot of offensive success against a struggling Atlanta defense. The week 1 season opener (Monday, September 14th) between the Eagles and Falcons can be seen live on ESPN at 6:55pm EST from the Georgia Dome.

  • New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys Odds - NFL Predictions Week 1

    The New York Giants would love nothing more than to start the 2015 season with a win over their NFC East division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys will be looking to win back-to-back division titles for the first time in over a decade. No team in the division has repeated in 11 years. The Giants winners of two Super Bowls in the 2000s, have not tasted much success lately and last season was dreadful. After starting the season 3-2, the Giants running game and defense disappeared on the way to seven straight losses. The club did finish the season 3-1 but must address their running game and a defense that allowed 395.3 yards per game in 2014. Giants vs Cowboys odds in Vegas favor Dallas by nearly a touchdown (-6) while NFL predictions for the week 1 total have been set at 52.

    New York will be without the services of Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul who injured a hand over the summer in a fireworks accident. Pierre-Paul finally met with Giants representatives after missing all summer team activities and preseason training camp. His status is still uncertain. New York will also be without the services of star wide receiver Victor Cruz, who is still not fully recovered from a patellar tendon injury suffered last October. What the Giants do have is QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr., the NFL’s breakout star of 2014. In just 12 games, OBJ had 1,305 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Manning, despite the Giants inability to run the ball, still enjoyed a decent 2014 season tossing 30 touchdowns compared to just 14 interceptions. Manning will need to control his turnovers in week 1 if New York is to cover the spread as underdogs in Giants vs Cowboys odds.

    Dallas, which has beaten New York four straight times, will rely on the arm of quarterback Tony Romo who led the NFL last year with a passer rating of 113.2. The ground game may suffer some as last year’s leading rusher, also the league’s leading ground gainer, DeMarco Murray is now in Philadelphia. Murray will be replaced by Darren McFadden, Christine Michael, Lance Dunbar, and Joseph Randle. Romo will still have WR Dez Bryant as his top receiving target. Bryant, who just signed a five-year, $70 million deal in the offseason, led the league in receiving touchdowns last year with 16. The Cowboys defense will be without DE Greg Hardy until late October and LB Rolando McLain will miss the season’s first four games due to suspension. Still, the Cowboys should have enough to win its fifth straight over the Giants.

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