LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers NFL Week 1 Predictions, Preview & Betting Tips
We’re excited for the new season and LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers could be one of the NFL Week 1 Predictions highlights.
The defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams will begin their 2019 season with an east coast road trip to face the Carolina Panthers.
Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, September 8. The early betting lines list the Rams as 3-point favorites on the road with an ambitious over/under of 51 points.
Most people probably forget that there’s a little bit of history between these two teams. When the Panthers joined the NFL in 1996, they were in the NFC West alongside the Rams until the league reconfigured the divisions, so these two franchises spent seven seasons playing one another twice every season.
The meetings between the Rams and Panthers since then have been less frequent but still memorable, including a playoff game after the 2003 season that went to double overtime.
Despite the Rams winning the NFC last year, they have just one win in their last seven games against Carolina, including a 13-10 win for the Panthers when these teams last faced each other in 2016.
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LA Rams Form
Coming off a Super Bowl appearance last season, expectations are sky-high for the Rams heading into the 2019 season. With the core of last year’s team still in place and head coach Sean McVay still considered one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, it might take a Super Bowl win to satisfy the fanbase.
The high-powered Rams offense we saw last season was nowhere to be found during the preseason. There doesn’t seem to be too much internal concern, as Jared Goff is back at quarterback with the same trio of wide receivers in Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp that had Los Angeles scoring at will last season.
However, there is serious concern about the health of Todd Gurley after he disappeared in the postseason. There are some reports that Gurley has arthritis in his knee, which could be a major hindrance.
If Gurley isn’t at full strength, the Rams will still be good offensively, but they won’t be the elite unit we saw at for much of 2018.
The fact that the Rams used a 3rd-round pick to draft running back Darrell Henderson could be an indication that they’re a little worried about Gurley.
Even if the Rams are fine offensively, they’ll still need a little more from their defense in 2019. The good news is that they have the best defensive player in the league in Aaron Donald.
The hope is that outside pass rushers like Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews can take advantage of Donald getting so much attention and forcing one-on-one matchups on the outside.
On the back end, the Rams added veteran Eric Weddle to their secondary. Weddle has spoken openly during the offseason about how much talent the Rams have in the secondary, creating optimism that the Los Angeles can pull its weight a little more than last season.
Carolina Panthers Form
The Panthers will head into 2019 hoping to put last year behind them as quickly as possible. Ever since they went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl in 2015, Carolina has had aspirations to get back to the Big Game.
But a 6-2 start last season was ruined by an almost inexplicable seven-game losing streak ruined their season. That will not prevent Carolina from hoping to return to the playoffs this season.
Of course, the one explanation for that losing streak was the health of quarterback Cam Newton, who battled shoulder problems last year and had surgery to address the issue during the offseason.
Newton then sprained his foot during the preseason, putting his health further in doubt heading into Week 1. The silver lining is that the Panthers have several capable playmakers, starting with do-everything running back Christian McCaffrey.
Greg Olsen FINALLY does his @EAMaddenNFL scan…
And it's hilarious 😂 pic.twitter.com/isp3ttY3tm
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 27, 2019
D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Chris Hogan make for an intriguing and athletic receiver group that also includes veteran tight end Greg Olsen.
Defensively, the Panthers had some shortcomings last season, which was surprising considering their recent history. The hope is that veteran Bruce Irvin and rookie Brian Burns can provide more pass-rushing options and help improve a defensive line that still looks good on paper despite underperforming last year.
The Panthers also have Luke Kuechly to lead their defense and took a shot on Eric Reid late in 2018 as a way to upgrade their secondary.
LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Trends
- Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1.
- Panthers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
- Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. NFC.
- Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 overall.
- Home team is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers NFL Week 1 Predictions
Most weeks, the Panthers as home underdogs would be a good bet. But the questions about Newton’s health, both his lingering shoulder trouble and his recent foot issues, are too much to ignore.
They supersede any second thoughts about the Rams created by Gurley’s knee problems. In the end, you have to trust that the Rams can avoid a Super Bowl hangover and take care of business against a Carolina team that’s in a little bit of disarray depending on Newton’s status.
With the spread at three points, the Rams should be able to cover.
LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers NFL Week 1 Predictions: LA Rams -3 (-105) @ BetOnline.
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When is LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers?
LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers is being played on Sunday, September 8, 2019.
What time is LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers?
LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers is being played at 1:00pm EST.
Where is LA Rams vs. Carolina Panthers being played?
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte.