- Sam Darnold led the Carolina Panthers to a 26-7 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
- Not only did the Saints cover the +3.5 betting spread, they won outright as +127 Moneyline underdogs.
- Darnold’s MVP odds also improved from +8000 to +5000 at PointsBet.
The new scenery seems to be working for Sam Darnold. At least right now.
Darnold doesn’t look only competent, he looks confident in Carolina’s offense. He hasn’t only looked serviceable, he has been impactful for the Panthers. Other than one interception on Sunday, he’s looked good and though it’s only for two games, he wasn’t supposed to be this “good” when the Jets decided to give up on him.
When his Panthers beat his old team last weekend, it was considered sweet revenge. But after how the Jets looked on Sunday, it looks more clear now that his former team was more of the problem than Darnold ever was in his past NFL life.
Now the Panthers are 2-0 on the season and they just beat a Saints team that dominated the Packers in Week 1.
Big First Half By Darnold
— theScore (@theScore) September 19, 2021
Darnold didn’t have a single game with 200 passing yards and 2 touchdowns in three seasons with the Jets. He accomplished that in his second game with the Panthers, doing so in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Saints. In that first half, Darnold completed 18/20 passes with 216 yards and two scores, and a 145.0 passer rating.
He didn’t do much in the second half, as the Panthers were content to waste away time with a big lead. Darnold would finish the game with 305 passing yards on 26/38 passing (68.4%) two TDs, one interception, a 99.1 passer rating, and 8.0 yards per attempt. The Panthers dominated the Saints 26-7, winning as +127 Moneyline underdogs at the BetOnline App, and easily covering the +3-point spread with a 19-point winning margin.
Carolina is now 2-0 on the season and tied with the Tampa Buccaneers for the best record in the NFC South division. Although the Panthers are just third in the divisional odds boards, their odds have shortened after beating the Saints. Carolina is now listed at +550 at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Bet 365 while the Saints are still clinging on to the second-favorite spot at +450, +440, +425, and +400, respectively at the said sportsbooks. At Unibet, the Panthers and Saints are now both listed at +500.
Darnold’s MVP Odds Instantly Improve
Panthers are up 1⃣7⃣
Sam Darnold’s MVP odds have gone from +8000 ➡️ +5000
Anyone on the Darnold MVP 🚂?pic.twitter.com/lufq46Tf3G
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) September 19, 2021
Aside from his team’s odds, Darnold also saw his MVP odds improve instantly after Sunday’s effort. At PointsBet, Darnold’s odds moved from +8000 to +5000 after beating the Saints. Although that’s still far from the top, he shares the same odds with Kirk Cousins who also saw his odds significantly shorten as a big performance on Sunday for the Vikings.
Right now, the Caesars Sportsbook has yet to update its odds and still has Darnold listed at +8000 and so with Bet365 which still has the Panthers’ QB at +10000. Meanwhile, the likes of BetOnline, SportsBetting.ag, FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM have yet to post their NFL MVP futures odds back after Sunday’s games but when these top NFL betting sites do, expect Sam Darnold to move up their ladders as well.
It’s important however not to overreact to how the Panthers have started the season. The Jets are a bad team. The Saints were short-handed. Still, a win is a win, and given the circumstances, Darnold did his job and he got the team the victory. Moving up in the MVP odds board doesn’t necessarily mean that Darnold is going to win it. But it surely proves that he belongs in the NFL as a starter.