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Carolina Panthers Betting Tips – Fighting Past Both Atlanta And New Orleans Will Be A Test

Posted by Tony Bryant on 6/14/2012 5:04:54 PM

Head Coach: Ron Rivera
Offensive Coordinator: Rob Chudzinski
Defensive Coordinator: Sean McDermott
Owner: Jerry Richardson
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
Capacity: 73,298
Super Bowl Wins: None

Offense

The foremost betting sites will tell you that the Carolina Panthers are going to score points in 2012. The key for this team is that it must put itself in positions where points will be meaningful. It does little good to score two touchdowns when trailing by 17 points late in the fourth quarter. Carolina has to be able to win the shootouts it plays instead of racking up window-dressing numbers due to meaningless "garbage touchdowns."

The Panthers have the ability to light up the scoreboard. Why? They have the quarterback they want, a quarterback who could become an NFL superstar in the near future. In 2011, the Panthers finished 7th in the NFL with 6,237 yards of offense, one year after being completely toothless and sinking to the bottom of the NFL in 2010. Cameron Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn, committed plenty of turnovers in 2011 season, but the playmaking dynamo did not buckle under the weight of expectations. He held up to public scrutiny and exhibited far more mental toughness than his critics anticipated from him. Newton's athleticism is so imposing that he can keep opposing defenses on their heels. Newton is formidable as a runner and a passer, gifted with a full toolbox of skills and the ability to put them to full effect. Carolina's offense became legitimately dangerous as the 2011 season unfolded. The turnovers were a concern, but if they can be appreciably reduced, the Panthers will be a genuine playoff contender.

Grade: B+

Defense

Sports betting lines will treat Carolina kindly when the Panthers face opponents with mediocre offenses, but this team will be a heavy underdog when it goes up against elite offenses. Carolina's defense was awful in 2011, finishing 28th in the league by allowing 6,042 yards. This team's pass rush has not been the same. Carolina once had a particularly fearsome front four, but coach Ron Rivera – who worked with a high-quality front four when he was the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers – could not bring about a transformation of his defense last season, a telling weakness on a squad that finished a distant third in the NFC South. The need for defensive reinforcements has been underscored by the fact that Carolina drafted only two offensive players, one of them a likely special-teamer (receiver and kick returner Joe Adams). The Panthers drafted four defensive players plus punter Brad Nortman, reflecting their lack of resources on this side of the ball.

Grade: D+

Special Teams

Prevailing online sportsbook odds will improve for Carolina if it can improve its level of punting this upcoming season. An average of 39.8 net yards per punt is decidedly mediocre. That's why the Panthers drafted Nortman, a punter from the University of Wisconsin. The 87.1 percent conversion rate on field goals represents a terrific level of consistency and production. The Panthers basically have "half a loaf" in the kicking game, and since their offense will score touchdowns, it's especially important for the punting game to win the field position battle.

Grade: C+

Prediction

The Panthers will be better than last year; of that there is little doubt at this point. However, Carolina has to fight past both Atlanta and New Orleans in the NFC South. Can Carolina scratch out 10 wins, generally the minimum requirement for a (non-division-winning) wild card berth? It's not likely. This team will have to settle for 9-7 and nothing more.

2012 Schedule

Week 1 – at Tampa Bay (4:15 PM ET)
Week 2 – vs. New Orleans (1:00 PM ET)
Week 3 – vs. New York Giants (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
Week 4 – at Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
Week 5 – vs. Seattle (4:05 PM ET)
Week 7 – vs. Dallas (1:00 PM ET)
Week 8 – at Chicago (1:00 PM ET)
Week 9 – at Washington (1:00 PM ET)
Week 10 – vs. Denver (1:00 PM ET)
Week 11 – vs. Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET)
Week 12 – at Philadelphia (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
Week 13 – at Kansas City (1:00 PM ET)
Week 14 – vs. Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
Week 15 – at San Diego (4:05 PM ET)
Week 16 – vs. Oakland (1:00 PM ET)
Week 17 – at New Orleans (1:00 PM ET)


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