- Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy instantly improves Carolina’s defense
- QB Cam Newton is still recovering from shoulder surgery
- Four of the club’s first games of the year will be played on their home field
The National Football League’s top free agent for 2019 is set to become a Carolina Panther.
Gerald McCoy is leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has agreed to a one-year deal with the Panthers that is in the range of $10.25 million with a $4 million signing bonus.
The deal for the six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle instantly improves Carolina’s defense, which finished 27th in the NFL last season with 35 sacks.
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) June 3, 2019
However, sportsbooks have not budged on the 7.5 over/under line on NFL win totals for the Panthers.
Bovada has set a price of -130 on the over for Carolina, which finished third in the NFL South with a 7-9 record last season. Bovada also has even odds on taking the under.
Based on the stats from last season, it may look enticing to take the under on total wins, but this is a different Panthers team in many regards.
Carolina Panthers 2019 NFL Win Total Odds
|Over/Under||Carolina Panthers 2019 Win Total Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken 06/04/19
With the additions of McCoy, DE Bruce Irvin and first-round DE Brian Burns, Carolina head coach Ron Rivera suddenly has options on defense heading into the 2019 campaign.
Let’s not forget this Panthers team started the season at 6-2 before a Thursday Night Football loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off a dismal stretch of seven straight losses. Defensive woes and the ongoing health concerns surrounding quarterback Cam Newton were primarily to blame for the mid-season collapse.
Eyes on Newton, Olsen
Carolina’s offense is always motoring when Newton and tight end Greg Olsen are in sync. Last season the two stars were far from that, primarily because of injuries to both players.
Newton is still recovering from shoulder surgery and the club’s future will directly ride on the quarterback heading into the 2019 season.
The last two seasons Olsen has really struggled to stay healthy as well — playing a total of 16 games combined in 2017 and 2018. Olsen will need to get back to his 1,000-plus receiving yards and 7-to-8 touchdown catches per season in order for the Panthers to succeed.
Salute to Jeremy for breaking this early this morning. It’s now been confirmed that Cam Newton has begun throwing. pic.twitter.com/mNa3QxFkdG
— Carolina Blitz (@KeepBlitzin) May 31, 2019
2019 Schedule Overview
Aside from the season opening game against the Los Angeles Rams, Carolina actually has a favorable schedule in 2019. Four of the club’s first games of the year will be played at Bank of America Stadium — the Panthers’ home field.
Four of Carolina’s first games of the year will be played at Bank of America Stadium — the Panthers’ home field.
McCoy will also get the chance to face his former team twice during that span when the Panthers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2 and again in Week 6.
With winnable games against Arizona, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Washington, the Panthers are favored to exceed the projected mark of 7.5 total wins for the 2019 NFL season.
While the over line stands pat at 7.5, don’t expect it to stay at the price too long. The signing of McCoy will likely move that line up towards 8. Either way, take the over on total wins for the Carolina Panthers.
Pick: Over 7.5 wins (-130)
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