The Carolina Panthers currently occupy the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC, but can they hold onto it? Photo from @CBSSportsHQ
- The Carolina Panthers have won three straight games after starting the season 0-2
- The Panthers are currently in seventh place in the NFC, which would qualify them for the playoffs given the expanded format this season
- Read below to see if we think the Panthers are a good bet to make the playoffs
The Carolina Panthers were expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season. Instead, they are now 3-2 and are currently in playoff position. There is a make/miss playoff prop up on the board that shows the Panthers at +166 to make the playoffs. Are they worth a wager to make the postseason with these NFL playoff odds?
Carolina Panthers Playoff Odds
|Team||Odds to Make Playoffs||Odds to Miss Playoffs|
All odds as of October 12th at FanDuel.
Panthers Have Exceeded Expectations
The Panthers entered the year with a regular season win total of 5.5, so it’s fairly clear that little was expected of them. After all, they won just five games last season, fired head coach Ron Rivera and cut ties with franchise quarterback Cam Newton. They were supposed to be squarely in the midst of a rebuild.
Teddy Bridgewater is COOKING the Falcons 🔥 @brgridiron
and it’s only the first half pic.twitter.com/Q1X4MpIwKo
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 11, 2020
New head coach Matt Rhule and his rebuilt roster have had other plans. The team started 0-2 but has since won three in a row, indicating this is going to be a scrappy team this season. What’s even more impressive is they’ve done it without star running back Christian McCaffrey, who has been sidelined during the three-game winning streak.
That’s led to them landing in the seventh spot in the NFC standings. Remember, the playoffs are expanded this season (to seven teams), so the Panthers would make the playoffs if they started today.
Panthers Hit Home Runs With Offseason Moves
The Panthers made sweeping changes in the offseason and so far, so good. They signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is fifth in the NFL in passing yards and ninth in QBR. Some of their other moves included getting offensive linemen John Miller and Juston Burris – both quality starters – and wideout Robby Anderson, who is third in the league in receiving yards.
If you’re not happy Teddy Bridgewater is playing well as the face of an NFL franchise, something is wrong with you. pic.twitter.com/BqwYjlRNuN
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 11, 2020
Rhule has made a smooth transition to the NFL sidelines, having his team prepared each and every week while playing disciplined football. Even in their two losses (to Las Vegas and Tampa Bay), they had chances in the fourth quarters of both of those games to earn the win.
The defense has been particularly impressive as they are allowing just 23.8 points per game (12th in the NFL) while ranking fourth in pass defense. Their six touchdown passes allowed is tied for the third-fewest in the league.
Will The Panthers Make The Playoffs?
Carolina has had a nice start to the season but they have the makeup of an 8-8 team more than someone who is 10-6 and clearly in the playoffs. The NFC is a tough conference and we see teams like the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers behind them. At least one of those teams should be able to leap frog them.
The Panthers also have a tricky schedule coming up with Chicago, New Orleans, Kansas City and Tampa Bay in four of their next five games. Their three wins this season have come against teams who are a combined 4-10 and with a tougher slate in front of them, they should start to show signs of weakness.
— PatriotsNation Sports Talk 2-2 (@Luismun75171883) October 12, 2020
The Panthers have no pass rush as they have just five sacks on the season, which is the second-fewest in the NFL. They also allow 5.4 yards-per-carry, which is also the second-worst number. Those types of things will start to get exposed in October. Don’t bet on them to make the playoffs at this point.
For over 15 years, Dave has been working in mainstream media and sports betting. He hosted a station on Sirius Satellite Radio for four years, and is currently a senior writer for AskMen. He’s interviewed hundreds of hundreds of high-profile sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Floyd Mayweather.