Panthers open 2.5-point favorites vs. Cowboys for Week 1

Aubrey Yates
April 21, 2018

It will no doubt be grueling for Panthers fans to have to wait until December 15 for a first crack at the Saints, a team that finished 11-5 and ended the Panthers' season with a 31-26 victory in the NFC Wild Card Game on January 7. Dallas will play five primetime games this season - three times on NBC's Sunday Night Football, once on FOX's Thursday Night Football and once on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

Even though there's a long time to go between now and September, there's already odds available for the first week of games. The team will travel an approximate 4,060 miles on its eight regular season road trips, the lowest cumulative total in franchise history for a single season. In 2014, when the team was 3-7-1 following a 12-4 season and expectations were high, Richardson elected to stick by Rivera and the Panthers responded with a 4-1 mark following the bye and sneaking into the playoffs with another divisional win.

Former Philadelphia wide receiver Torrey Smith (left), was part of the Eagles' Super Bowl run last season but will play for Carolina in October when the Panthers visit Philadelphia for one of their toughest games of the 2018 season.

While the state of the franchise is still in limbo due to an impending sale, Panthers fans can look forward to a reasonably friendly slate of games this season.

After consecutive home games against the Ravens and Buccaneers, the Panthers will travel to Pittsburgh for a Thursday Night contest against the Steelers on November 8 on FOX and NFL Network.

Also, the Cowboys will host the New York Giants in Week 2 and play at the Giants in the final week of the season, Week 17. The matchup will be the 10th time in 11 seasons the Panthers will have faced the reigning NFC champion.

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9 - Games with the Seahawks since 2010, including a split of two postseason matchups. Last year, the Steelers won the AFC North with a 13-3 record.

The Panthers then enter the month of December, which has been a favorable month for Carolina under head coach Ron Rivera. Since 2011, the Panthers have won 23 games in December, tied for second in the NFL. Carolina will travel to the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 10 and host the New Orleans Saints in week 15.

December of 2018 will begin with road contests at Tampa Bay and Cleveland, before concluding with a three-game stretch against division rivals. The last time the Giants came to Bank of America Stadium in 2013, the Panthers handed them a 38-0 whuppin' to start the regular season.

The NFL is releasing the 2018 schedule tonight, but a few games have been leaked.

The Sept. 9 game in Bank of America Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys will make a lot of people a lot of money - including Panthers fans who decide to sell their tickets to the legions of Cowboys fans.

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