Browns vs. Panthers Point Spread: NFL Week 1 Odds, Prediction

Daniel Coyle | Updated Sep 07, 2022

Baker Mayfield will face his former teammates for the first time since being traded to Carolina during the offseason when the Panthers play host to the Cleveland Browns in NFL Week 1 action on Sunday.

Cleveland
5-7
AT
September 11, 2022, 1:00 PM ET
Bank of America Stadium
Carolina
4-8
Pointspread +1.5 -105
Moneyline +115
Over / Under o +42

21%

Betting Action

79%

Pointspread -1.5 -115
Moneyline -138
Over / Under u +42

21%

Betting Action

79%

Baker Mayfield is faced with the task of turning around a Panthers squad that stumbled to a 5-12-0 record last season, and out of playoff contention for a third straight year. The Browns shipped Mayfield out of town to make room for star passer Deshaun Watson. But with Watson suspended for the first 11 games of the season due to his ongoing legal woes, Jacoby Brissett will get the call for Cleveland in Sunday’s season opener.

There has been plenty of line movement since the Panthers opened as slim 1-point favourites on the NFL odds. Carolina briefly climbed to 2.5-point chalk before settling back at its current position at -1.5, backed by 74 per cent of sports bettors. The total has also been on the move since opening at 41.5, dipping to 40.5 before rebounding to 42, with 58 per cent of the betting action backing the OVER.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

Sunday afternoon’s matchup at Bank of America Stadium marks the only scheduled meeting between these teams this season, and their first head-to-head clash since December 2018. The Panthers have claimed outright victory in four of six dates with the Browns since 1998, including a pair of victories on home turf. However, it is Cleveland that has earned the win in two of the past three head-to-head matchups.

Low scoring has been commonplace, with an average of just 37 total points scored over their past six clashes, fuelling a 4-2-0 run for the UNDER. Both these teams have nowhere to go but up after closing out last season in dismal fashion. The Panthers currently ride a seven-game straight up and against the spread losing streak, and have also lost six straight on home turf while averaging just 16.7 points per game. The Browns closed out 2021 with four straight road losses, while scoring just 13.3 points per game.

Cleveland Browns

Brissett is not the quarterback upgrade the Browns and their fans had in mind to start the 2022 season, but the team could have done far worse than the 29-year-old journeyman. While it has been three years since Brissett held down a steady job as a starting pivot, he brings plenty of experience in tough situations to his temporary role leading the Cleveland offence. Unlike last season, when both injuries and sloppy play by Tua Tagovailoa forced him into a relief role in Miami, Brissett has had ample opportunity to develop chemistry with a revamped Browns receiving corps led by new addition Amari Cooper, and a fearsome backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Carolina Panthers

In addition to Mayfield’s debut, the big news coming out of Carolina is the expected return to action of Christian McCaffrey. Limited to just 10 appearances over the past two seasons, the Panthers star rusher faces a tough task to regain the form that produced almost 2,400 total yards during the 2019 NFL season. Indeed, McCaffrey’s performance is expected to have a dramatic impact on the team’s bid to return to respectability this season. However, he has failed to run for over 100 yards in a single game over the past two seasons.

The Panthers are not without other offensive weapons. Receiver DJ Moore topped 1,100 yards for a third straight season in 2021, and with Mayfield in the fold, Robbie Anderson is well positioned to bounce back from a frustrating 2021 campaign. How the defence will look remains a concern in the wake of the departure of Haason Reddick, Stephon Gilmore, and DaQuan Jones. While optimism is high that the defence can overcome their woes from last season, many of which stemmed from simply too much time on the field, it is not enough to back this team as a Week 1 favourite.

NFL Prediction: Who Will Win Browns vs. Panthers?

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