Nevertheless, in the Panthers’ 2008 training camp a particularly nasty incident occurred, shocking the online American football betting community, when star receiver Steve Smith sucker punched cornerback Kevin Lucas. This incident goes far beyond a normal training camp scuffle and many pro football betting analysts are wondering how it will impact online American football betting on the Panthers this season.
Pro football betting fans in the Carolinas were certainly shocked to read the news about Smith and Lucas. It is well known within the online American football betting world that Smith is an extremely passionate player, but no one expected him to sucker punch one of his own teammates. The episode undoubtedly cast a shadow over the Panthers’ preseason and both Smith and Lucas were forced to miss some practice time. Such locker room divisions can be extremely detrimental, so some pro football betting analysts feel as though the incident may negatively impact the team throughout the season. Nevertheless, Panthers players have unequivocally criticized Smith for his actions, yet many have also claimed the incident has brought the team closer together. In other words, the fight may, in fact, improve the prospects of pro football betting on the Panthers this year because it has actually fostered team unity--in a very odd way.
However, there is one very direct impact that the fight will have on Panthers pro football betting: the team has suspended Smith for the first two games of the season. Pro football betting analysts know that Smith is undoubtedly one of the top few players on the Carolina squad, so losing him for the first two pro football betting match ups may be very damaging. The Carolina offense sputtered last year, and starting the new season with the unit’s best player on the sidelines will not help. Also, the team’s first two pro football betting match ups are against the Chargers and Bears – two strong teams that Carolina may have struggled against even with Smith. The team’s third pro football betting match up (its first one with Smith back) is against the Minnesota Vikings, who many pro football betting analysts have pegged as a possible Super Bowl contender. In other words, Smith’s absence could lead to the Panthers beginning the season 0-3, which would not bode well for pro football betting on the team throughout the rest of the online American football betting season.