Week 1 NFL Picks – Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos

2016 Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos Odds and Free Picks

The Carolina Panthers are favored against the Denver Broncos in the opening game of the 2016 NFL betting regular season on Thursday, September 8th on NBC. This is a Super Bowl rematch as the Broncos defeated the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Normally the defending Super Bowl champion would be favored but the Broncos have a new starting quarterback this season as Trevor Siemian takes over as Peyton Manning is retired and Brock Osweiler is in Houston.

Week 1 NFL Odds

Carolina Panthers -3, total 41.5

Siemian Wins Starting Job

The Broncos quarterback battle went to Siemian as he beat out Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch. Siemian was a 7th round pick by the Broncos last season and took all of one snap last year for Denver and it was a kneel down. “I think he’s earned the right to be our guy,” head coach Gary Kubiak said. “I go back and look at the body of work throughout the course of the offseason, watch training camp, throughout the preseason, how far he’s come. I watch how much he’s improved in my opinion, the grasp that he has with what we’re doing, to me he’s earned the right to go out there and be our starter.” The last time that Siemian started a game was in college at Northwestern in 2014.

The Broncos have not said whether it will be Sanchez or Lynch as the back-up quarterback but reports have come out that Denver is looking to trade Sanchez. Siemian said that he is ready to be the starter for the defending Super Bowl champs and Kubiak said Siemian has been very calm under center. “I’m impressed — I think he’s very calm,” Kubiak said. “I can tell by the way he handles the team in the huddle, he’s got control of what’s going on. Gets a bad break on the ‘go’ ball and comes right back and goes down the field. I think what I see is a guy getting better.”

Panthers Ready for Spotlight

The Panthers will be looking for revenge as they play the Broncos on opening night. The Panthers lost 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 but they are ready for a rematch. “It’s exciting for our players to compete on a national stage,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “We have earned the right to be in the spotlight and we have to take advantage of it.” This will be the first Super Bowl rematch in Week 1 since 1970 when the Vikings beat the Chiefs.

The Panthers will get wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin back from injury this season but they will miss star cornerback Josh Norman who signed with Washington.

Week 1 NFL Picks

The line has moved dramatically in favor of the Panthers as the Broncos originally opened up as favorites on almost each betting sportbook for this game but Denver still has a great defense and they are playing at home. I will take the points with the Broncos and also play the game under the total.