Wed, Sep 7, 1:22pm by Jake Equid
Preview: NFL Season Opener: Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Friday September 9, 10:15am AEST
Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, USA
TV: ESPN, 7mate
The 97th season in the history of the National Football League is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 8, 2016 (Friday AEST) with the annual season opener which since 2004, has always featured the defending Super Bowl champion.
The Broncos are playing at home, where they’ve only lost at twice in the past two seasons. They still have the best defence in football, which sounds like two good reasons to pick them to win. On the other hand, they’re starting a quarterback, Trevor Siemian who’s only played one career NFL snap in his life and that snap was a kneel down that went for a three-yard loss.
Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is backing the 24-year old who attended Northwestern University. Sanders said that Siemian reminded him of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and that ‘he throws a very catchable ball’.
Onto the bridesmaid of last season, the Carolina Panthers, who have looked a little shaky at times during the pre-season. They dropped a close one to the Patriots but finished off strong at home against the Steelers last Thursday, winning 18-6 without QB Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Generally, Week 1 is the hardest to pick, because you really don’t know what teams were running on all cylinders in the pre-season. Good teams can go 0-4 in the pre-season and then blow teams out in the games that really matter when the season kicks off. Coaches also use the exhibition games in the pre-season to ascertain who makes the 46-man roster.
The defending Super Bowl Champions Denver go into a season without QB Peyton Manning for the first time since 2011 and will take time to adjust to life without him. Carolina were the best team of the regular season last year. Losing just one game, and will be hungry to go one step better this season.
BEST BET: Panthers to win: $1.57
Total Match Points
Odds sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at time of publishing
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