The Carolina Panthers got off to a 3-0 start in the 2021 season. They had much-needed wins against the New York Jets and Houston Texans with an impressive divisional win against the New Orleans Saints. Sam Darnold was leading the league in rushing touchdowns and life was good. Fast forward 15 weeks and the Panthers ended their season with a 5-12 record including going 2-4 in conference play.
In the offseason, Carolina made moves to put together a trade package for quarterback Deshaun Watson. After that fizzled, they were able to sign cornerback Donte Jackson to a new deal and extended wide receiver D.J. Moore. The team didn’t pull off any flashy trades or big-name signings, but they did shore up their offensive line. In the draft, Carolina selected North Carolina State OT Ikem Ekwonu with the sixth overall pick. They didn’t firmly address quarterback but did add Ole Miss QB Matt Corral in the third round.
We’ll take a look at the latest DraftKings Sportsbook lines and predict if the Panthers can surpass their 2022 win total of 6.
2022 Panthers schedule with odds
|1||Sep. 11||Cleveland Browns|
|2||Sep. 18||at New York Giants||+1|
|3||Sep. 25||New Orleans Saints||+2|
|4||Oct. 2||Arizona Cardinals||+3|
|5||Oct. 9||San Francisco 49ers||+4|
|6||Oct. 16||at Los Angeles Rams||+9|
|7||Oct. 23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+7|
|8||Oct. 30||at Atlanta Falcons||pk|
|9||Nov. 6||at Cincinnati Bengals||+8.5|
|10||Nov. 10||Atlanta Falcons (Thu)||-3|
|11||Nov. 20||at Baltimore Ravens||+7|
|12||Nov. 27||Denver Broncos||+4|
|14||Dec. 11||at Seattle Seahawks||+2.5|
|15||Dec. 18||Pittsburgh Steelers||+1|
|16||Dec. 24||Detroit Lions (Sat)||-2.5|
|17||Jan. 1||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+9|
|18||Jan. 7 or 8||at New Orleans Saints||+4.5|
Why the Panthers will go over their win total
Carolina’s win total sits at six games at DraftKings Sportsbook. The over seemed a little more plausible during the period when Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was retired. He has returned seemingly locking up the NFC South for the Bucs. Even if the division is likely out of reach, this Panthers team is going to be better than people think. If they can put together a competent offense and can avoid injuries, their defense can win them games. They have a great defensive line and secondary, but just need a playmaker to emerge at linebacker.
If the Panthers can capture the success they started the 2021 season with, if they can stay healthy and if Darnold or Corral prove serviceable, Carolina will win more than six games.
Why the Panthers will go under their win total
The Panthers have a brutal stretch from Week 4 to Week 7 taking on the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Bucs. They also face the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. They will likely be the heavy underdogs in all of those games which could easily result in eight losses out of their 17-game schedule. They have seen their season end early the last two years with the injury struggles of running back Christian McCaffrey. Carolina finishes with fewer than six wins, McCaffrey will likely be hurt or they will have realized that neither Darnold nor Corral are the answer under center.
Prediction: Under 6 wins
In order to get to six wins, the Panthers have to win divisional games. Even if you think they sweep the Atlanta Falcons, they will likely not beat Tampa Bay and could split with New Orleans. If the team can beat the New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions that gives you exactly six wins. They may end up playing the Cleveland Browns at the right time to start the year if Watson is suspended. If they can’t sweep the Falcons or take one from the Saints, it is going to be tough to find that seventh win this year.
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