The Carolina Panthers get their preseason fixtures underway with a home encounter against the upstart New York Jets on Saturday.
The Carolina Panthers open up their preseason engagements with a home clash against the New York Jets on Saturday. This follows on from two days of joint practices which begin tomorrow (Wednesday) and will be a tremendous measuring stick for Frank Reich's group after one of the most memorable offseasons in franchise history.
This is the time of summer when players relish the chance to start hitting genuine opposition rather than teammates. In fairness to the Panthers, aggression has rarely stepped over the line over camp under professional leadership, but that might not be the case when Gang Green descends on Wofford College in Spartanburg.
It's also the best possible way for fringe players to force themselves into Carolina's plans. Making plays in a structured practice setting is obviously positive, but a big gain or turnover in a game-type atmosphere holds a lot more weight.
Reich will be no doubt a little emotional as he takes of stock how things have come full circle before kick-off. And with rookie quarterback Bryce Young also set to start, the new era feel will be evident.
Carolina Panthers vs. NY Jets odds for Preseason Week 1
According to the latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook, the Panthers are 3.5-point favorites to get their pre-season campaign off to a flier at Bank of America Stadium. This can be bet at -110 in both directions whichever side of the fence you're wager is on (bet $110 to win $100).
Anyone wishing to bet Carolina on the money line can do so at -175 (bet $175 to win $100), with the Jets sitting as the clear underdogs at +150 (bet $100 to win $150) despite already having one warmup game under their belts.
FanDuel has set the over/under for the game at 37.5 points. Again, this can be bet at -110 in both directions.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Carolina Panthers vs. NY Jets prediction for Preseason Week 1
Preseason games are notoriously difficult to predict. Nobody knows which starters are playing and for how long, with those lower down the pecking order coming with a performance level drop-off but increased urgency as most are fighting for jobs.
This is a dangerous mix from a betting standpoint. Perhaps the easiest way to make some money is by betting on props or the over/under - but even that can be precarious given the constant chopping and changing of lineups as coaches want a good look at every player as part of their ongoing evaluations.
The Panthers have a deeper roster than in previous years, but the Jets showed last week against the Cleveland Browns that they also possess some quality on their depth chart fringes. Therefore, this should be a competitive game without either team giving too much away.
Reich will want to begin his stint as head coach with a victory, even if the result is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. That said, backing the Panthers to win +3.5 and over 37.5 points could be worth its weight in gold - although approaching every preseason bet with extreme caution remains the best course of action.