People who bet on NFL need not wait until the start of the regular season to indulge in a bit of the ol’ NFL betting. For example, the Carolina Panthers will visit the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on Saturday, August 20th as part of both teams’ preseason.
Panthers +1 (-110) 41½ (-110)
Titans -1 (-110) 41½ (-110)
The Panthers started their preseason on the wrong foot with a 19-22 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton went 5 for 6 for 36 yards before being replaced by 33-year-old Derek Anderson. Newton completed his first five passes before overshotting an open Ted Ginn Jr. in the back of the end zone, which forced the Panthers to settle for a field goal kicked by Graham Gano – who kicked an additional three field goals for Carolina. A premature sideline celebration by Newton cost the Panthers a touchdown. The league has made sideline penalties for players and coaches breaching the boundary during play a point of emphasis this 2016 season. Nevertheless, Anderson threw a TD pass to Devin Funchess a few plays later, but it was all for naught as the Ravens responded with TDs by Terrrance West and Javorious Allen.
The Titans, on the other hand, impressed fans who bet on NFL with a 27-10 win over the San Diego Chargers. Running back DeMarco Murray ran for 71-yard TD and had six carries for 93 yards. Murray gave props to wide receivers Dorial Green-Beckham and Harry Douglas for providing quality blocks on his big run. Titans QB Marcus Mariota played three series and threw 5 of 5 for 45 yards, including a 31-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Tajae Sharpe. Tennessee had a field goal on Mariota's first series and finished his final drive with the aforementioned Murray's TD. Rookie RB Derrick Henry scored as well.
Now, what Titans fans who bet on NFL would like to know is whether this truly is a sign of things to come, or just a flash in the pan? Tennessee has gone 5-27 in the previous two seasons and won its last division title in 2008. The Titans have a potential franchise QB in 22 year old Mariota, and while his receiving unit is filled with inconsistent and untried players, newly arrived safety Rashad Johnson believes his team has shot at the AFC South – over which not one team can be said to lord over. The Titans do have an underestimated defense, but the offensive line needs to bounce back from a season in which it was, let’s say, very permeable.
Facing the Panthers in the preseason will serve the Titans as a sort of trial by fire. As we all know, Carolina went 15-1 last season and made it all the way to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Denver Broncos. The last timer that these two teams encountered one another was on November 15th, 2015 in week 15 of last season. On that occasion, the Panthers defeated the Titans 27-10.