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2005 Carolina Panthers NFL Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


The Carolina Panthers were coming off of a 2003 campaign in which they were the sleeper team in pro football, going all the way to the super bowl before losing (but covering against the sports betting odds) to New England 29-32 as 7-point dogs. Thus, expectations for 2004 were relatively high though the Panthers still had their share of doubters within the sports handicapping community that believed their 2003 run was a bit of a fluke. That being said not even the biggest doubters in the public or sports betting community could foresee what happened to Carolina at the start of 2004.

After splitting their first two games both straight up and against the sports betting odds Carolina proceeded to confirm the skeptics worst suspicions with a six-game straight up losing streak in which they failed to beat the sports betting odds in four of those six losses. The last loss was by far the worst as lowly 2-6 visiting Oakland Raiders defeated the Panthers, who were 6.5-point chalks, 24-27. At this point the general sports betting public completely wrote off Carolina as a serious contender to make their list of football picks. For the sports handicapping bargain hunters, however, Carolina became a team to consider even at the very depths of their incredible collapse.

In an incredible and unrealistic shift in sports betting value, Carolina was installed as a 1-point dog at San Francisco against a 49er team that may have been the worst in pro football. While most sports betting players ignored the game all together a bargain hunters took a shot with Carolina, despite their horrible season as they used the logic that a team one season off of a super bowl should not be a dog to the 49ers. This logic paid off as Carolina won 37-27 which was a springboard to a seven game winning streak against the sports betting odds.

Incredibly enough, Carolina entered their season finale at home against New Orleans with a shot at the playoffs if only they could beat the Saints, who were out of contention and had nothing to play for. You can guess what happened next. A flood of sports betting money now came in on the ‘must win” Panthers who were on a streak and this moved the sports betting line all the way up to 7.5 points. You can guess the next thing that happened; Carolina blew the game, losing the game they had to win 18-21 and blowing a lot of sports betting bankrolls in the process. Carolina made a lot of sports betting players a week late and many dollars short all season.









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