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The Carolina Panthers took the league by storm last year with a 12-4 record behind the exciting play of Cam Newton, an excellent defense and the emergence of “Riverboat Ron” Rivera. Unfortunately, there are some signs that the Panthers are likely to take a step back this season.

Cam Newton is starting the season with a hairline fracture in his ribs and he won’t be helped by the fact that his top three receivers from last season (Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn) are all gone. The Panthers didn’t do a great job finding comparable talent either. Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and rookie Kelvin Benjamin simply don’t measure up. The team has a lot invested in its running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart but neither has been dominate enough to justify their contracts. The offensive line will also have a hard time keeping Newton upright and the Panthers will rely on its defense to carry the team. The front seven is still one of the best in the league thanks to Luke Kuechly and Charles Johnson, not to mention Greg Hardy, who should be available later in the year. The Panthers main worry on the defensive side of the ball will be the secondary which lost Michael Mitchell, Quintin Mikell and Captain Munnerlyn. The talent upfront should mask the deficiencies in the backfield but the Panthers will find it difficult to repeat last season’s success story.

The Panthers odds of winning the Super Bowl are currently 35-1.

For more information on the Panthers betting lines and odds, watch the video above and visit here.