Money Line Pick
The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a Super Bowl appearance, and will visit the Carolina Panthers here in Week 1 as they look to start another journey back to the big game. The Panthers were 6-2 last season before Cam Newton got hurt, and then things went south in a hurry. Since they lost seven of their last eight games, people seem to have forgotten just how good they looked when Newton was healthy. The Rams rested all their starters during the preseason again, which is what they did last year. In Week 1 of 2018 they looked a bit rusty, letting a bad Raiders team hang around for three quarters. This Panthers team is a lot better than that, so if they get off to a slow start again they’ll be in big trouble. The Rams lost some key pieces during the offseason, and it’s anyone’s guess what Todd Gurley will look like. Carolina is going to cover this spread, and they’re also going to win this game outright.
Over Under Pick
I also like the under a lot here. The Rams’ offense looked sloppy in Week 1 last year after not playing during the preseason, and I expect the same here. Their offensive line lost stud guard Rodger Saffold in free agency, and they have two youngsters starting on the line without any real experience. I don’t expect Gurley to look like his old self here, and the running game will suffer as a result. Further, it doesn’t look like receiver Cooper Kupp will be 100 percent for this one after tearing his ACL toward the end of last season. This Carolina defense should be a lot better than it was last year, and they’ll keep this one pretty low scoring.