Las Vegas Sun

October 15, 2018

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Week 1 NFL picks for the Sun’s handicapping contest

Image

Ryan Kang / AP

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left, is sacked by Los Angeles Rams defensive end Eugene Sims during the first half of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, in Los Angeles.

Week 1: Cowboys at Panthers

Which side would you take in Cowboys at Panthers? (Poll consensus last season: 9-11-1)
Panthers minus-3 — 67.2%
Cowboys plus-3 — 32.8%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys are two of the top four winningest franchises in the NFC over the last five years.

And yet scheduling oddities have resulted in the Panthers and Cowboys playing once in the span. Carolina and Dallas face off for the first time since Thanksgiving 2015 — when the Panthers crushed the Cowboys 33-14 as a 1-point favorite to stay undefeated — in a 1:25 p.m. kickoff this afternoon.

It’s the game of the week in the Sun’s handicapping contest. The seventh-annual competition requires each member of the sports staff to make six picks — point-spread and totals are both accepted — weekly including one on the game of the week.

Despite the sustained success of Carolina and Dallas, bettors aren’t particularly high on either team coming into this season. Neither the Panthers nor the Cowboys are favored to make the playoffs according to the betting market.

They’re tied at seventh in the NFC with 30-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, and 15-to-1 odds to win the conference at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. On yes/no props to reach the playoffs, Dallas’ odds to reach the postseason sit at plus-160 (risking $1 to win $1.60) with Carolina at plus-150 (risking $1 to win $1.50).

The team’s evenly-matched nature is also reflected on the betting line, where the Panthers come in as the standard 3-point favorite at home.

Check below for all of the Sun’s week 1 contest picks. Games are listed in order of their sports book rotation numbers.

Jesse Granger (2017 co-champion)

Last Season: 57-40-5

Bengals plus-2.5 at Colts

Texans vs. Patriots under 50 points

Chargers minus-3.5 vs. Chiefs

Cowboys plus-3 at Panthers

Redskins plus-1 at Cardinals

Rams minus-5 at Raiders

Case Keefer (2012, 2014, 2015 champion, 2013 and 2017 co-champion)

Last Season: 57-40-5

Colts minus-2.5 vs. Bengals

Dolphins plus-1 vs. Titans

Chargers minus-3.5 vs. Chiefs

Cowboys plus-3 at Panthers

Packers minus-7 vs. Bears

Raiders plus-5 vs. Rams

Mike Grimala

Last Season: 52-48-2

Steelers minus-4 at Browns

Ravens minus-8 vs. Bills

Patriots minus-6.5 vs. Texans

Chargers minus-3.5 vs. Chiefs

Seahawks plus-3 at Broncos

Panthers minus-3 vs. Cowboys

Ray Brewer (2016 champion, 2013 co-champion)

Last Season: 43-57-2

Bengals plus-2.5 at Colts

Giants plus-2.5 vs. Jaguars

Titans minus-1 at Dolphins

Panthers minus-3 vs. Cowboys

Cardinals minus-1 vs. Redskins

Bears vs. Packers over 47 points

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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