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The Carolina Panthers did not fare well last season, posting a 5-11 final record and a last-place finish in the NFC South, though they did that despite the excellent play of their star running back/receiver Christian McCaffrey.
Proving to be a handful for opposing defenses to strategize around, McCaffrey, at just 5’11” and 205-pounds, has a way of finding holes and escaping tackles and using his breakaway speed to make the big plays, the perfect example being the career-long 84-yard touchdown run he executed in Week 5 last season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With the huge quarterback question finally answered in Carolina, McCaffrey should benefit and have a breakout season in 2020, so we take a look at the prediction and odds of his total rushing yards for the upcoming season and examine his chances of getting there.
Odds taken 5 June 2020, from DraftKings
Remember, the point spreads in these wagers will most likely shift several times before the actual games are played, so be sure to check back in often to get all the latest predictions and odds.
Be careful of this tempting bet, since the over seems perfectly doable for a running back of McCaffrey’s caliber, but you have to keep in mind that much of his production comes from his receptions, and that yardage won’t count towards this total.
In his three NFL seasons, McCaffrey only beat the over here once, and that was this last season when he posted 1,300+ yards on the ground, but the two seasons before the better bet was the under since his total rushing yardage was 1,098 in 2018 and just 435 his rookie season in 2017.
As far as consistent production goes, McCaffrey has shown that when you hand him the ball, he will move forward 4.7 yards on average, an impressive career number that will most likely improve now that the team’s recurring quarterback situation has finally been solved.
For the first time in a decade, the Carolina Panthers will not have quarterback Cam Newton under center, the chronically injured superstar released after the front office was unable to find another team willing to trade for him.
Now the team will start Teddy Bridgewater, the talented quarterback that was forced into the journeyman role after injuries caused him to lose time as a starter, his most recent gig backing up Drew Brees down in New Orleans for the Saints.
McCaffrey should benefit from having a solid veteran quarterback distributing the football this season since the number of and success of his touches depends directly on how well the offense is being managed, and Bridgewater can at the very least do that, if not become a serious factor that will distract defenses from McCaffrey.
Having to play in the NFC South has been difficult because it is the same division as the always productive Drew Brees and his winning New Orleans Saints who have placed first for three seasons in a row.
Now add to that legitimate rival list the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who just upgraded their playoff chances big time by signing GOAT quarterback Tom Brady and his now unretired tight end friend Rob Gronkowski, which instantly makes the team a threat to win the division now.
That won’t bother McCaffrey any – if Bridgewater and new head coach Matt Rhule just figure out how to repeatedly either hand or throw him the ball, he will most likely do what he’s been doing every year he’s played in the league, which is to move the ball forward despite the opposing team’s best efforts.
Pick: Take the over in this one, and do not get nervous during the first half of the season when Bridgewater and McCaffrey are ironing out all the newbie kinks. This duo should heat up during the final stretch.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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