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Panthers vs. Falcons NFL Week 1 odds: Bryce Young will lose debut if history is any indication

The Carolina Panthers are thrilled with the progress that Bryce Young has made since the team took him with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft out of Alabama after the Cats traded up from No. 9 overall with Chicago to get the pick. However, history says to fade Carolina in Week 1 at Atlanta as the last 14 No. 1 overall pick quarterbacks like Young are 0-13-1 straight up in their first career start (0-2 ATS in past two). The Panthers are 3.5-point underdogs.

That tie was courtesy of Arizona’s Kyler Murray in 2019 when the Cardinals rallied from down 24-6 in the fourth quarter to tie Detroit 27-all. The last top pick QB to win in his debut was David Carr in 2002 with Houston, a team that would finish 4-12. Carr ended up as a bust in large part because he took such a beating in those early years behind bad Texans offensive lines.

History is against Bryce Young in Week 1.

The only previous time #KeepPounding had the No. 1 overall pick was in 2011 when it took another former Heisman Trophy-winning QB from an Alabama school: Cam Newton from Auburn. Newton lost his Week 1 start 28-21 at home to Arizona but was dazzling with 422 yards passing (most by any QB in NFL history in his debut) and two scores and a rushing TD.

Overall since the 1970 merger, rookie No. 1 overall QBs starting in Week 1 are 3-13-1, averaging 203.5 passing yards per game and only 51.7% completions with 28 combined TD passes and 19 picks.

New Panthers QB Frank Reich will have a different starting QB for a sixth straight season as a head coach dating to his Colts days. The only other head coach to have a different starting QB in his team’s first game of the season for six straight seasons was Lou Saban from 1968-73 (1968-71 w/ Broncos, 1972-73 Bills).

Atlanta QB Desmond Ridder started the final four games last season and threw 115 passes without a pick, the longest streak by a rookie in the Super Bowl era. The jury is still very much out on the 2022 third-round pick. The #DirtyBirds were a very run heavy team in 2022 and should be even more so this year after drafting Texas running back Bijan Robinson at No. 8 overall. He is the +275 favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year and Young next at +500.

Carolina is 3-0 ATS in its past three in Atlanta. The Falcons are 1-6 SU & ATS in their past last 7 Week 1 games.

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