The Carolina Panthers got off to a terrific start in 2018, but things fell apart in a hurry. The Panthers will be looking to turn things around in a big way this season, and it appears that they have the roster to do it.
Carolina has a pair of talented players in Cam Newton and Christian McCaffery, and they should be able to run over opponents again this season. If the Panthers are going to improve in 2019, then they must find a way to make improvements on the defensive side of the ball.
The Carolina Panthers were 6-2 through their first eight games in 2018 but ended the season with a record of 7-9. The Panthers finished in third place in the NFC South, and have the third-best odds to win the division this season as well. Carolina went 7-9 against the spread a season ago as well and will look to improve upon that record this season.
Key Moves in Offseason
One of the biggest moves that the Panthers made this offseason was switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. Head coach Ron Rivera will be calling all of the defensive plays this season, after a brutal season on defense in 2018. The Panthers didn’t have a ton of holes on this roster, but they have added some talented pieces on both sides of the ball.
Week 1: vs. Los Angeles Rams
Week 2: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 3: @ Arizona Cardinals
Week 4: @ Houston Texans
Week 5: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 6: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 7: Bye Week
Week 8: @ San Francisco 49ers
Week 9: vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 10: @ Green Bay Packers
Week 11: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 12: @ New Orleans Saints
Week 13: vs. Washington Redskins
Week 14: @ Atlanta Falcons
Week 15: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 16: @ Indianapolis Colts
Week 17: vs. New Orleans Saints
Cam Newton: Cam Newton appears to be fully healthy heading into the 2019 season, and that should make the Panthers offense much better this season. Newton threw for 3,395 yards in 2018 and ran for another 488 yards, and can beat teams in a variety of ways. If Newton can stay healthy, then the Panthers’ offense should be much improved.
Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey has established himself as one of the best offensive players in the NFL, and accounted for more than 1,900 yards and 13 touchdowns a season ago. McCaffrey is the top receiving target for Newton and is an extremely talented runner.
Luke Kuechly: Kuechly led the Panthers with 130 tackles a season ago and was named to the Pro Bowl. Kuechly will take on an even bigger role in a new defensive scheme this season, but he should be up to the task.
Rookie Class: Brian Burns and Christian Miller were drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 2019 draft as edge rushers and could be a significant boost on defense. The Panthers also brought in quarterback Will Grier, and he could see some time if Cam Newton suffers an injury.
Vegas Win Total: 7.5 Wins (Over -190/Under +160)
Odds to win Division: Carolina Panthers +500
Odds to win Conference: Carolina Panthers +1800
Odds to win Super Bowl: Carolina Panthers +3500
Predictions to Season/Bets to Make
Many people believe that the Carolina Panthers will take a big step forward this season, but we just don’t see it. The Panthers feel like the clear third-best team in the NFC South, and that won’t allow them to make the playoffs. Take the under 7.5 wins at +160 as the Panthers will finish with an identical 7-9 record this season. The Panthers have too many holes on their roster to make the playoffs this season, and sweeping changes could be coming after the season.