Denver Broncos (3-7) at Carolina Panthers (3-8)
Opening Spread: Panthers +2.5
Opening Game Total: 35
Opening Team Totals: Panthers (16.25), Broncos (18.75)
Weather: Outdoors, rain expected
The Line Report
- This line opened as Panthers +2.5.
- This line has moved down to Panthers +1.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Panthers +1.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Panthers +2.5.
- This total opened at 35 points.
- This total has moved to 36.5 points.
The Panthers Offense vs. Broncos Defense
The Panthers have a below average offensive line, but it’s been steadily improving to the point that it’s approaching league average territory, especially in the run game. The Broncos have an average front without difference making edge Randy Gregory. Consider this trench matchup is a relative draw.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Panthers are 5-6 against the spread this season.
- The Panthers are 4-7 on overs this season.
- Steve Wilks is 11-10-1 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Steve Wilks is 9-13 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Panthers are scoring 18.8 points per game, which is 25th in the league.
- Carolina is 29th in the league in yards passing per game and 19th in yards rushing.
- Sam Darnold is taking over at quarterback for the Panthers this week.
- Per the Edge, D’Onta Foreman has breached 100 yards rushing in three of his last five games. In the other two games he’s had less than 25 yards rushing.
- D.J. Moore has a 26.6% target share and a 42.6% air yards share, but only a 51.2% catch rate. That catch rate is almost entirely on Carolina’s uneven quarterback play, and the shift to Darnold is likely a positive for Moore.
- Terrace Marshall Jr. has six or more targets in three of his last four games.
- Ian Thomas has less than three targets in four of his last five games.
- The Broncos have allowed 17.1 points per game, which is third in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Broncos have allowed the 13th-most yards rushing per game and the 15th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Denver has given up the second-fewest yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Broncos have allowed the 15th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Broncos Offense vs. Panthers Defense
Given their injuries at offensive tackle and center, the Broncos have a bottom-tier offensive line. To say that Russell Wilson has struggled this season would be an understatement, but he is among the best “bad line” quarterbacks in recent memory. The Panthers have an average defensive front, headlined by athletic edge Brian Burns. Carolina has a moderate advantage in the trenches, while Burns has a significant advantage on the outside.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Broncos are 3-7 against the spread this season.
- The Broncos are 1-9 on overs this season.
- Russell Wilson is 86-75-6 against the spread in his career.
- Russell Wilson is 76-90-1 on overs in his career.
- Nathaniel Hackett is 3-7 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Nathaniel Hackett is 1-9 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Broncos are scoring 14.7 points per game, which is last in the league.
- Denver is 13th in the league in yards passing per game and 25th in yards rushing.
- Denver released Melvin Gordon and Chase Edmonds is on injured reserve, making Latavius Murray the top option in the Broncos’ backfield.
- Per the Edge, Courtland Sutton has a 24.5% target share and a 35.3% air yards share. Both lead the team.
- Jerry Jeudy has an 18.5% target share and a 23.5% air yards share, both of which are second on the team. Jeudy missed last week’s contest with an injury and remains on the injury report as of this writing.
- Greg Dulcich has a 16% target share with a 20.4% air yards share, which is fourth in the league among tight ends.
- Per TruMedia, Courtland Sutton has played 515 snaps on the perimeter and 76 in the slot.
- Jerry Jeudy has played 130 snaps on the perimeter and 246 in the slot.
- The Panthers have allowed 23.3 points per game, which is 20th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Panthers have allowed the sixth-most yards rushing per game and the 21st-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Carolina has given up the 12th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Carolina has given up the third-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- The Panthers have allowed the 19th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Panthers vs. Broncos
I cannot remember the last time I saw a game with a 35-point game total that didn’t have massive wind.
A bet on the Panthers is a bet on a football team that fired its coach and traded its best player in-season, yet is still playing hard every week under interim head coach Steve Wilks. Sam Darnold is taking over at quarterback for the Panthers this week. Darnold has been extremely inconsistent in his professional career, but the Panthers looked like a playoff team early last season with Darnold at quarterback. Darnold gets a tough draw against Denver’s pass defense this week. We should have limited expectations for the Panthers’ offense. However, Carolina’s defense played a great game against the Ravens last week. If you’re betting on the Panthers in this spot, you’re expecting a similarly strong effort out of their defense this week. The Panthers are a very volatile football team, which means that everything about them comes with some downside.
A bet on the Broncos is a bet on one of the league’s most disappointing teams. Russell Wilson’s offense has scored the fewest points in the league and there have been no real signs of improvement. If you’re betting on the Broncos, part of that bet is built on the hope that Denver can exceed its meager expectations on offense against an inconsistent Panthers team. While that’s your hope as a Broncos bettor, you’re still primarily betting on the Broncos’ defense having a dominant showing. Your biggest concern as a Broncos bettor is that their offense continues to underwhelm against a scrappy Panthers team that has an advantage in the trenches. Another negative is that the Broncos are coming off an overtime loss to the Raiders.
Awards Market Ramifications: None
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I’m going to primarily take Denver in winner pools, though I will have some exposure to the Panthers. I’m going to try to get this game as close to the bottom as I realistically can in my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: From a football standpoint I prefer Denver against the spread, but as someone that’s been betting on football for a long time this line is bizarre, and I can get to a Panthers win. That’s a recipe for me to avoid this contest against the spread. That said, if you’re in a casual spread pool I’d expect that most participants would gravitate towards the Broncos side, which gives you some leverage by taking the Panthers in that position.
Survivor Pool: This contest should be avoided in survivor pools.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 35-20
Props 2022: 36-21