By Greg Dempson
In the history of the NFL this marks the first time that last years’ participants in the Super Bowl will meet in week 1 the following season. It’s also rare for last years’ Super Bowl teams to meet at any juncture the following season, it has occurred six previous times with the team that lost in the Super Bowl going 2–4 straight up and ATS in the rematch game as well as 1–3 straight up and ATS when away from home.
Yes the defending Super Bowl champs are without Peyton Manning and yes they start a rookie quarterback who has no experience, Trevor Siemian. The Bronco are also without defensive tackle Malik Jackson and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan. Denver does return nine starters on defense including Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. The Broncos sacked Cam Newton 7 times in last years’ Super Bowl game, (2 fumbles lost.)
The Panthers start the new season without cornerback Josh Norman, (Redskins,) and defensive end Jared Allen has retired. Kelvin Benjamin, who missed all of the 2015 season with a torn ACL, returns but in this rarified “Mile High” air, I wouldn’t expect him to play a great deal in his first game back.
Angles and Stats
- The Bronco have won 15 out of their last 16 home openers and 24 out of 27 dating back to 1989.
- The Super Bowl loser is on a 1–8 ATS streak when a road favorite.
- The Broncos are 8–1 ATS in their last eight Thursday games.
- The two teams have met five times since Carolina joined the league back in 1995 and Denver is 4–1 ATS in those previous five games.
- Denver opened as a small home favorite and as of this contribution they are a 3 point home dog. That’s a line swing of 5 or 5.5 points.
- Last season Denver was ranked #7 in special teams while the Panthers were ranked at #29.
- In the past five seasons the Broncos have been a home underdog only three times, (2–1 ATS) in that spot.
- The first time I visited Las Vegas the population was less than 200,000, now there are over two million people residing in the city/area, (according to Wikipedia.) This didn’t occur due to people getting rich via gambling in “Sin City!” Anytime the bus is this full of Panthers backers, I’ll find another mode of transportation
Panthers vs Broncos Pick
I offer up an Every Edge opinion on the Denver Broncos at +3. I will have an official selection posted tomorrow for one of Sunday’s games. In the meantime.