The Carolina Panthers traded for quarterback Baker Mayfield hoping to end their streak of four losing seasons. Can head coach Matt Rhule save his job in 2022? Let’s examine the Panthers’ current record prediction, projected win totals, any intriguing prop bets involving the franchise, and their odds to win the NFC South, NFC, and Super Bowl in 2023.
All odds are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise stated and are correct as of Aug. 10 at 2:15 p.m. ET.
Carolina Panthers record prediction 2022
Following the release of the NFL schedule, Caesars has provided odds and spreads for 11 of the Panthers’ 2022 regular-season matchups. Based on those numbers, Carolina is projected as the favorite in one game and underdogs in the rest. If their first 11 games of the season match those predictions, the Panthers will have a 1-10 record following Week 12 of the 2022 campaign.
Oddsmakers aren’t totally selling the Panthers’ chances to be competitive, though. Of their 11 available betting lines, seven have a spread of 3 points or less on either side. These coinflip games will determine how the Panthers’ campaign plays out.
Carolina has the 17th-most difficult schedule of any team. Their NFC South foes vary in strength. Tampa Bay is a Super Bowl favorite, while Atlanta could be the worst team in the league. New Orleans has a 7.5-win line but has a strong upside.
With three straight years finishing with five wins, the time is now for Carolina to show progress. Their continued investments into the quarterback room prove they understand where they’re lacking the most. Let’s dive into whether those investments will lead to wins.
Panthers odds, picks, and props
Now we know the sportsbooks’ predictions for the Panthers on a week-by-week basis. Let’s look at their season-long odds for win totals, the division, conference, and the Super Bowl.
- Panthers win total: 6.5 (-110)
- Panthers to finish third in NFC South: +125
- Panthers to win NFC South: +900
- NFC winner: 70-to-1
- Super Bowl winner: 130-to-1
As with any non-contender, we have to look at the Panthers’ betting odds for their win total and specific win props. There’s not a realistic pathway to the Panthers winning the South unless Tampa Bay and New Orleans completely implode and Carolina gets an MVP season from one of their passers. It’s safe to assume we’re not betting on that.
Much of who the Panthers are is a mystery. This team dealt with an awful quarterback and offensive line play in 2021. Sam Darnold might even fall behind Mayfield and Matt Corral despite starting last year.
If Mayfield is healthy and Christian McCaffrey can stay on the field for the majority of the year, the Panthers should have a much more potent unit that ranked 29th in scoring last year. Carolina bolstered the offensive line by adding Ikem Ekwonu in the first round of the draft, then free agents Austin Corbett and Bradley Bozeman.
We also need to see if this defense can maintain its bend-don’t-break approach. The unit finished second in yards allowed but 21st in points. Losing leading sack artist Haason Reddick will make repeating that discrepancy challenging.
Panthers MVP odds and player props
Baker Mayfield 80-to-1
- Offensive Player of the Year
Christian McCaffrey 25-to-1
- Defensive Player of the Year
Brian Burns 50-to-1
- Comeback Player of the Year
Christian McCaffrey +750
Baker Mayfield +1200
- Baker Mayfield regular-season passing yards
Over/Under 3,700.5 (-110)
- Baker Mayfield regular-season interceptions
Over/Under 13.5 (-110)
- Christian McCaffrey regular-season total yards
Over/Under 1,595.5 (-115)
- DJ Moore regular-season receiving yards
Over/Under 1,075.5 (over -125, under -105)
We have a lot of prop picks to choose from, but not every one of them is a smart play. Much of this revolves around how optimistic you are about Mayfield and McCaffrey’s health and ability to perform consistently. Those two will define the Panthers’ team success as much as anyone else can.
McCaffrey’s injury history is particularly disturbing. Over the last two seasons, various ankle, thigh, hamstring, and shoulder injuries have caused him to miss 23 games. Soft tissue injuries are at risk of recurring or cascading, making his projections seem too tied to his availability for a full season’s slate.
Mayfield has also dealt with his fair share of inconsistent play and injuries. It’s hard to predict whether he’ll sustain a variety of nicks and bruises that causes his play to decline as much as it has in two of his four seasons. However, he’s also surrounded by a good supporting cast and has a redemption storyline built into place for him. Those are necessary to win something like Comeback Player of the Year.
Panthers 2022 picks
Carolina produced some unwatchable football last year. Their decision to fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady was unfortunate, now knowing they’d roster both Mayfield and Corral. He would’ve been an excellent fit for both passers, even if Darnold was not the right one.
Nevertheless, new OC Ben McAdoo has some great playmakers to work with. Moore, Robbie Anderson, Terrace Marshall, and Rashard Higgins are a strong receiving corps. Tight end Ian Thomas is decent enough as well.
The defense has to somehow overcome the loss of Reddick but is otherwise an average-looking unit. Young playmakers Brian Burns, Yetur Gross-Matos, Jeremy Chinn, and Jaycee Horn will have to elevate the group. We already know Shaq Thompson and Donte Jackson are quality established starters.
This team feels like it’s one of the extremes due to their reliance on uneven offensive stars and a coaching staff with strong personalities. I’m leaning towards them doing just enough to hit an over that has risen by one full win since acquiring Mayfield. Half of their schedule features winnable games, so even one upset should push this over.
1u: Over 6.5 wins (-110)
1u: Finish third in NFC South (+125)
I’m going to hedge against myself with some Panthers’ predictions on player props. Mayfield has one of the easier pathways to winning Comeback Player of the Year simply because he’s a quarterback. But he also has the storyline of being ousted by Cleveland for Deshaun Watson to help enhance his case.
A season from Mayfield that resembles his 2020 campaign isn’t a crazy possibility. Even if Mayfield was still an average overall quarterback that year, his numbers were efficient, and he won over many media members. Of the better candidates, only Derrick Henry seems to be a safe option for health and performance.
I like the value of Mayfield compared to Jameis Winston and McCaffrey for the award. Coming out of Kevin Stefanski’s conservative, run-first offense and into a unit that ranked 14th in pass attempts, Mayfield should eclipse the 3,700.5 yard-mark for the first time since 2019. It’s hard to fathom Mayfield can’t average 230 yards a game with these receivers and throwing about 100 more passes.
That increase in attempts could also lead to more interceptions. Mayfield can’t read a defense still and is inaccurate. He’s averaging a pick on over 3% of his attempts.
I’m certainly going under on McCaffrey’s aggressive total yards mark. He was on pace to hit this total last year, but he’s at far greater risk of missing games than playing in at least 15. Carolina should do their best to manage McCaffrey’s load, which will reduce his total touches each week.
Taking Moore to go over his receiving prop of 1,075.5 yards is a must. With three straight years over 1,157 yards with bad quarterbacks, he’ll certainly hit the over here so long as he’s healthy. I’d also expect a boost in his touchdown total.
.5u: Mayfield wins Comeback Player of the Year (+1200)
1u: Mayfield over 3,700.5 passing yards (-110)
1u: Mayfield over 13.5 interceptions (-110)
1u: McCaffrey under 1,595.5 total yards (-115)
1u: Moore over 1,075.5 receiving yards (-125)