NFL Week 1 Betting Odds: Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Oftentimes, sports bettors will try to play against the most-hyped players in the National Football League, but Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton may have recent history on his side in opening the 2012 regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 9.
Newton earned 2011 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with his play, joining four other signal-callers to win the award since the 2004 campaign. He threw for 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also scampering in for 14 scores on the ground.
Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Vince Young (2006), Matt Ryan (2008) and Sam Bradford (2010) were the previous four signal-callers to capture the hardware over the eight-year span, posting a 3-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record in their season opener the following year.
The only setback in that grouping was Bradford and the St. Louis Rams suffering a 31-13 blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles as four-point home underdogs on Sept. 11 of last year, as he completed 17 of 30 passes for 188 yards.
There's no question that the Panthers will be a popular pick in this affair, considering they swept last year's season series in impressive fashion, including a 38-19 victory as one-point road favorites on this field on Dec. 4.
Newton is going to find it hard to top his 9-7 ATS record from a season ago, as oddsmakers certainly have the second-year pro on their radar, but he may just be scratching the surface of what he can do.
I'm not sure I can pick against him in the opener—can you?
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