Panthers vs. Ravens Free Pick
The Super Bowl runner-up Panthers will kick off their preseason schedule tonight against the Ravens at 7:30PM ET.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Ravens are now 1-point home underdogs versus the Panthers after Baltimore opened as a 1.5-point favorite. The total, however, has not budged after the number opened at 36.5 at most sports books.
The Panthers will bring back most of their core that went 15-1 and went to the Super Bowl last season. Cam Newton returns at quarterback, Jonathan Stewart returns at running back, and Luke Kuechly returns as the leader on a defense that also boasts one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Gone, however, is cornerback Josh Norman, who was allowed to sign with the Redskins this offseason.
After an injury-plagued 2015 campaign, the Ravens will get quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett, receiver Steve Smith and pass-rusher Terrell Suggs back from injury. The team also invested a first-round pick in left tackle Ronnie Stanley from Notre Dame and signed tight end Ben Watson and receiver Mike Wallace to pair with Smith, Kamar Aiken and 2015 first-rounder Breshad Perriman.
OUR PICK: The Ravens will likely take it slow with a couple of their injured stars, paving the way for the Panthers to build a lead in the first half before turning the game over to their backups as well. Carolina has had to sit on its Super Bowl loss for months and will look to kick off the new season on the right foot, so lay the small amount of points on the defending NFC champs.
2016 NFL PRESEASON WEEK 1 FREE PICK: CAROLINA PANTHERS -1.5