The San Francisco 49ers are going to be underdogs for quite a few games this season, and the line is only growing for their season opener. The 49ers host the Carolina Panthers, and have been underdogs since the line opened. The 49ers opened in April as a four- or 4.5-point underdog, depending on your sportsbook of choice. Since then, the line has climbed as high as six at some sportsbooks.
I am not surprised people are betting on Carolina, but it is at least moderately interesting in light of the Panthers injury report. Quarterback Cam Newton threw last week for the first time since surgery, but he was limited on Tuesday due to shoulder soreness. Given how little he has thrown this offseason, some soreness makes sense. My guess is he sits out the Panthers preseason opener, and maybe even the first two games. It’s more important for him to get back his throwing strength, which he can do in practice.
The 49ers enter the game with a six-game win streak in Week 1. It has shown no correlation to regular season success the past two seasons, but it’s an interesting stretch of six years. The past two years, bringing in a new head coach each year has seemingly helped give the 49ers an early edge. Will we see something similar in 2017 against the Panthers, or is it a better idea to fade the 49ers this year in Week 1?