Editor’s note: NESN.com’s Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian deliver their NFL picks every Thursday of the season, and here’s who they like in the Arizona Cardinals-Detroit Lions Week 1 game, with the line from MyBookie.AG.
(-5.5) Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET
Mike: 49ers. So, like, how do we know for sure Cam Newton is healthy? He’s coming off shoulder surgery and threw two preseason passes. I also like the Kyle Shanahan factor in San Fran. Panthers might win it late, but it will be close.
Ricky: Panthers. The 49ers allowed an NFL-worst 4.8 yards per carry and 165.9 rush yards per game last season. And although they went defense with their first three draft picks (defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, linebacker Reuben Foster and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon), I don’t think we’ll see immediate results.
Andre: Panthers. Carolina’s defense is getting old, but they get an easy test against an anemic offense in Week 1. Newton is healthy and hungry as he tries to bounce back from a dismal year.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jan 1, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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