The Carolina Panthers are my NFC sleeper team. The offensive line is bad, but the rest of the offense is loaded with weapons. Christian McCaffrey is an All-Pro caliber running back, and DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Terrace Marshall form a terrific passing attack. I have confidence in Joe Brady's offensive play-calling and Matt Rhule's rebuilding abilities as a head coach. If Sam Darnold plays well, this team should be above-average in 2021. Last year, the Panthers played the 2nd toughest schedule in the league and went just 3-8 in one-score games, according to Sharp Football Analysis. They also got screwed in the kicking game: opposing kickers hit a league-leading 93.5% of their kicks vs Carolina. This year, one should expect regression to mean in those statistics. In 2021, the Panthers also have one key advantage: rest. The Panthers have the NFL's best rest advantage this season. They will be far-more rested as a team than their opponents . Playing in a mostly rebuilding division doesn't hurt, either. I'm bullish on Carolina, and you should be, too. The Panthers should find success its first five games (Jets, Saints, @Texans, @Cowboys, Eagles). The offense should perform well, and the young defense should make a considerable jump this season. First-round pick Jaycee Horn is one of the top cornerbacks to get drafted in recent years. DT Derrick Brown and S Jeremy Chinn should improve off their rookie campaigns. DE Brian Burns is a star in the making. Watch out for Carolina this season. If Sam Darnold lives up to his potential, this team could threaten to post double-digit wins.
Best Bet: Panthers over 7.5 wins (+100)
You can find odds to bet on the Carolina Panthers win total at various sportsbooks, such as DraftKings.
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