With the preseason wrapped up, the regular season is right around the corner for the NFL. The Carolina Panthers will travel south to take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 10 from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
2023 NFL odds: Panthers vs. Falcons Week 1
September 3 odds
Spread: Falcons -3.5
Over/Under: O/U 39.5
Moneyline: Falcons -192, Panthers +160
Spread: Falcons -1.5
Over/Under: O/U 44
Moneyline: Falcons -120, Panthers +100
The Panthers are in a new era as they drafted Bryce Young with their No. 1 draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. While Young has star potential, the Panthers need to take things slow and fans can’t expect him to be an All Pro in year one. They added weapons like Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Miles Sanders which should make his job a lot easier. Their defense is fine as they’re about league average. They have strong defensive line with guys like Derrick Brown, Brian Burns, and recently added Justin Houston. They also have a secondary that includes Jaycee Horn, Vonn Bell, and Jeremy China.
Expectations for the Falcons are slowly rising. While they weren't great last year, Atlanta was at least competitive and gave fans hope for future years. Arthur Smith needs to start having true success and this could be the year for that. Desmond Ridder is starting the season as QB1 and I think he will be better than what Marcus Mariota was for them. Kyle Pitts should take a step forward this season in performance and Bijan Robinson has a real shot at winning the Rookie of the Year award on offense. While their defense isn't great, the Falcons did a lot to go out and improve it this offseason. Adding guys like Jessie Bates, Calais Campbell, Bud Dupree, Jeff Okudah, and others gives this defense a real boost.
Big money has come in on the Falcons over the past few months. As they went from 1.5-point favorites to 3.5-point favorites. It makes sense in my opinion as the Panthers will struggle early on. It’s rare you see a rookie quarterback come in and play great in his first few games. Based off what we’ve seen, Young will have some struggles. I think this game is a confidence booster for the Falcons defense. It should be a low scoring game though, as the Panthers defense is still strong. I like the Falcons winning 24-6.
Pick: Falcons -3.5