The 2011 Carolina Panthers concluded play in the 2011 season with a record of 6-10 which was a four game improvement from the 2-14 record posted by the team in 2010. It was the third straight season that the Carolina Panthers missed the post season. Head coach Ron Rivera enters his second year with the club. The club showed promise for a good 2012 as the Panthers went 4-2 in their last six games of the 2011 year. Some critics will point out that Carolina beat just one team with a winning record last year in a 28-13 road win at Houston who was utilizing a third string quarterback. The other wins came against Jacksonville, Washington, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay twice.
The current win total for the 2012 Carolina Panthers regular season is lined at 7 ½ wins. The over 7 ½ wins is lined at the -130 favorite with under 7 ½ wins returning +100 odds. The odds used for the Carolina Panthers 2012 regular season win total came courtesy of Bovada sportsbook.
Carolina Panthers starting quarterback Cam Newton enters his second season under center. The mobile quarterback rushed for 14 touchdowns a season ago. Newton hit on 60% of his passes for 4051 yards with 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He was the third leading rusher for Carolina with 706 yards and an impressive 5.6 yards per rush average. The good news for Cam Newton was despite 517 passing attempts to go along with his 126 rushing attempts he played in all 16 games last year and avoided injury. Part of the reason is the fact Newton is smart in the open field and looks to run towards the sidelines and avoid contact if necessary. Still in the backfield for Carolina is DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart who each had a 5.4 yards per rush average last season. They add free agent Mike Tolbert for short yardage help. Wide out Steve Smith returns off a good 2011 year where he caught 79 passes for 1394 yards. The defense was horrid in 2011 for Carolina as they were 27th in scoring defensively by allowing nearly 28 points per game. Opposing quarterbacks completed nearly 65% of their passes against Carolina. Quarterback pressure was an issue last year as the club registered just 31 sacks. Until the Panthers can show signs of upgrading a defense that allowed 131 yards per game on the ground and 4.6 yards a carry to opposing offenses the play here is under at the best sports books.