The opening week of the NFL season is always a reason to be excited, but the schedule makers have outdone themselves this year by making the first game of the season be a rematch between last year’s Super Bowl teams. The Carolina Panthers will be looking for revenge as they head into Denver to face the World Champion Broncos, and they will be going against a team that looks a little bit different than they did just a few short months ago. The biggest change is obviously at the QB position, with Peyton Manning riding off into the sunset, and Brock Osweiler moving on to the Houston Texans. The Broncos will be starting Trevor Siemian in the QB role, and will probably once again be looking to the defense to pull them through. The Panthers are almost unchanged from last year, with Josh Norman being their one major loss. Can the Panthers come out and set the tone for the year by taking out the defending champions? Let’s take a look and see the latest NFL betting odds.
Panthers at Broncos 2016 NFL Winning Predictions
When: Thursday, Sept 8 at 8:30 PM EST Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver TV: NBC Radio: WBT and KOA NFL Odds: Panthers -3
Why bet on the Carolina Panthers
It’s easy to think that the Broncos stifling defense cost the Carolina Panthers Super Bowl 50, but it should be noted that Carolina were able to move the ball on the ground in that game, picking up 118 yards on 27 carries. The problem was turnovers and an inability to finish drives, and that is on the offense more than the opposing teams defense. If the Panthers can run the ball effectively on Thursday night, they will put themselves in a position to win. Carolina also has a defense that does a good job of getting to the QB, which could prove to be invaluable against a young man making his first start in the NFL. Trevor Siemian could well be running for his life all night long.
Why bet on the Denver Broncos
The biggest question mark for the Broncos is at the QB position, although it can be argued that they won a Super Bowl last year with a QB who looked as though time had caught up with him. This is an offense that has some playmakers, as the likes of Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas able to make things happen once they get the ball in their hands. They have to just hope that Siemian can do enough to get them the ball in the first place. The defense is still being led by Von Miller, so you are looking at a unit that can and will wreak havoc when given the opportunity.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
You have to like the fact that the champions have home field advantage for the season opener, but you can’t possibly like their QB situation. I think their defense will keep the Broncos in this one, but that it will be the Panthers who eventually come out on top.