The Carolina Panthers are still stinging from a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 back in February, falling for the fourth time in five meetings as Peyton Manning played the last game of his career.
But the Panthers will get a great opportunity to exact some revenge on the Broncos in the NFL season opener Thursday night as consensus three-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Coming off a league-best 15-1 regular season a year ago, Carolina closed as 4.5-point chalk against Denver in the Super Bowl. However, the Broncos were too strong defensively, led by Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, who signed a massive contract extension in the offseason.
Miller contained regular-season MVP Cam Newton, although the Panthers will have a decided edge at quarterback here with Denver starting former third-stringer Trevor Siemian in place of Manning. Carolina is 8-0 straight up and against the spread in its last eight games when favored by three points or less.
Another intriguing interconference matchup will take place on Sunday Night Football when the New England Patriots visit the Arizona Cardinals. The Patriots are listed as six-point road underdogs despite the fact that they have gone 5-1 SU and ATS in the past six meetings.
Tom Brady obviously will not be under center for New England due to his suspension, which is a huge factor. So it will be up to Jimmy Garoppolo to lead the offense in Brady’s place versus former Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who was traded to Arizona in the offseason—and the rest of a tough Cardinals defense.
One of the teams looking to knock off the Patriots this year is the Miami Dolphins, who are 10.5-point road dogs visiting the Seattle Seahawks. The Dolphins have gone 5-1 SU and ATS in the previous six head-to-head matchups with the Seahawks and will be looking for the giant upset in their first game under first-year head coach Adam Gase.
Two Monday Night Football games close out Week 1 with a pair of road teams favored. The Pittsburgh Steelers are three-point chalk at the Washington Redskins in the first game, followed by the Los Angeles Rams visiting the San Francisco 49ers as 2.5-point favorites.
The visiting team has lost four of the past five meetings between the Steelers and Redskins, and the Rams are 1-6-1 SU in their last eight road games against the 49ers, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.