Panthers Cardinals Betting – Newton, Kolb Debut In The Desert Opening Sunday
The highly-anticipated debut of two quarterbacks will take place this weekend in the desert, as the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals clash at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Panthers elected to make Heisman trophy winner and National champion quarterback Cam Newton the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL draft, and he has shown flashes of his immense potential already in preseason action. Meanwhile, the Cardinals mortgaged some of their future to acquire what they feel is a long term solution under center, and it will be interesting to see how Kevin Kolb responds to the pressure when it counts.
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, September 11, 2011 – 4:15 PM ET
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
NFL Betting Lines: Arizona Cardinals – 7
The Panthers may be one of the more underrated teams coming in to this season because they have Newton under center, as there are a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball. Arizona will have the pressure of expectations in opening at home, and it will make for interesting sports betting intangibles.
NFL Betting Preview: Carolina Panthers
While he needs to improve his accuracy and touch, Newton has already shown the big-play ability that the Panthers drafted him for, delivering some nice deep balls and using his legs when plays break down. A big player that can take some punishment, Newton isn’t afraid to scramble for 15 yards, and it will be interesting to see how the Cardinals contain him. Running back DeAngelo Williams is back in the fold and playing with purpose just three years removed from a rushing title, and the Panthers added a couple of key tight ends in Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen to help with Newton’s development. Defensively, there are holes in the secondary, and the pass rush will be a key.
NFL Betting Preview: Arizona Cardinals
Kolb has already developed a good rapport with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, but that might be one of the easiest relationships since all he needs to do is throw the ball in his direction and the Pro Bowl catcher will make plays. The concern for the Cardinals will be pass protection and establishing the running game to help open things up, two things that will be a problem if the offensive line doesn’t come together. Arizona has several strong pieces on defense but the loss of Domenique Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback hurts. The Cardinals gave up too many big plays a year ago, and will need to stick to their fundamentals in this game while always keeping a sportsbook promo eye on Newton.
NFL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
There is little doubt that the Cardinals are better off with Kolb under center, but the problem is their inability to address the rest of the team. Arizona still has too many holes to be a seven-point favorite week one, and with the Panthers’ offense looking a little more dangerous with Newton under center, they should be able to at least keep this one close.
NFL Betting Pick: Carolina Panthers +7