The Carolina Panthers finally get their 2022 season underway with a fascinating clash against the Cleveland Browns at Bank of America Stadium.
After another eventful preparation period, the Carolina Panthers get back down to business in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns. The presence of Baker Mayfield under center adds a huge level of intrigue to the clash, with the NFL schedule-makers throwing up an instant chance for the quarterback to lock horns with old teammates and coaches.
Mayfield’s working hard to avoid any unnecessary headlines. Although the recent and ill-advised comments made by analytics expert Cynthia Frelund will emerge as bulletin board material even if the signal-caller didn’t say what he was accused of in a passing conversation.
Getting off to a good start is vital for the Panthers. Matt Rhule enters 2022 on the hot seat, so he can ill afford more speculation about his future over the early stages of the campaign.
There are so many storylines attached to this encounter. But the most important thing is for Mayfield and Carolina to begin their crossroads campaign with a win.
Carolina Panthers vs. Browns’ odds for Week 1
The Week 1 betting odds on FanDuel have the Panthers as 2.5-point favorites to get their 2022 season off on the right note. Anyone who fancies Carolina to cover can bet at -112 (bet $112 to win $100), with the Browns’ +2.5 available at -108 (bet $108 to win $100).
Carolina is -138 on the money line ahead of the contest (bet $138 to win $100) and Cleveland currently sits at +118 (bet $100 to win $118). The over/under for the game is set at 41.5 points, which can be bet at -110 in both directions (bet $110 to win $100).
Carolina Panthers vs. Browns prediction for Week 1
Opening day games are normally cagey affairs with a bit of rust thrown in given how long teams have been without competitive action. However, there is bound to be an added sense of urgency when the Panthers and Browns lock horns.
Mayfield will be eager to get one over on his former team. But those within the Browns won’t want to be upstaged by the signal-caller they cast to the shadows in favor of landing Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
While all the attention will be on Mayfield – and rightfully so – this might come down to Carolina’s defense and whether they can take advantage of backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Couple this with some questions about the Browns’ offensive line and it’s not hard to see why the Panthers could produce a turnover or two that would make all the difference.
If the Panthers want to win, Mayfield must keep his emotions in check. Providing the Oklahoma product can accomplish this and he gets enough time to go through his progressions, then it might be enough for Rhule to open his campaign with a victory.
In truth, it could go either way. But home-field advantage and an emotionally-charged atmosphere mean the Panthers could sneak a win and get Mayfield some revenge.