Las Vegas Raiders (0-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Bank of America Stadium)
The Line: Carolina Panthers +3 -- Over/Under: 47.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers meet Sunday in week 1 NFL action at Bank of America Stadium.
The Las Vegas Raiders lost five of their last six games and were forced to settle for seven victories in their last season in Oakland. The jury is still out on Derek Carr being a franchise quarterback, but there’s no doubt he has the weapons around him to be successful, as Josh Jacobs is one of the best young running backs in the league and tight end combination of Darren Waller and Jason Witten is as good as it gets. Rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III can take a top off the defense and Hunter Renfrow is a sure handed receiver who does a little bit of everything. There’s no excuses, the Raiders offense has serious potential and could be a top-five offense this season if Carr becomes consistent. Defensively, the Raiders should be improved with the addition of linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, two guys who will start. Maxx Crosby is coming off a 10-sack season in his first year, and he should be better with another year in the system. There’s a lot to like about the Raiders this season, but I’m still cautious given the QB situation.
The Carolina Panthers won just five games last season and ended the year on an eight-game losing streak. The Panthers have given the keys to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is going to be a make or break option this season, as he’s always had potential but has battled injury and consistency issues over the years. The Panthers obviously have help for their new QB with star running back Christian McCaffrey, and speedy wide receivers DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson on the outside. The Panthers offense should play with a ton of pace and has the chance to be an exciting, high scoring club this season. The Panthers defense is likely going to be a work in progress, as there’s a lot of new faces on this club and thy’ll be asking a lot of rookie Derrick Brown right away. Shaq Thompson is now the veteran at the linebacker position and probably the leader of the defense overall, while cornerback Eli Apple needs to hit the ground running to shore up a questionable secondary. There’s a lot of question marks for the Panthers on defense early on this season.
The Raiders are 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 road games, 17-36-1 ATS in their last 54 games as a favorite and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Panthers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog, 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 home games and 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The under is 6-1 in Raiders last 7 games overall. The over is 5-1 in Panthers last 6 games overall.
This line has shifted big time, as the Carolina Panthers opened up as a slight favorite and are now getting three points. You can argue there's not a lot of difference between these two teams, but the Panthers have a new starting quarterback, head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. Due to COVID, teams haven't been able to prepare like they usually would and haven't even been able to play preseason games to iron out the wrinkles. We're likely to see serious growing pains with the Panthers early this season. Because of the unknown, I'll back the Raiders and the reasonable chalk, but there's better betting options in week 1 of the NFL.