For the old dogs that have been around will know more in detail but during the initial expansion award, there was a lot of protest over Carolina's team colors as it was thought to be associated with gangs.
Well, they were popular gang colors until we started wearing them.
And now the prerequisite explanation for how Vegas handicaps games...
Vegas is not prediciting that Cincinnati will beat the Panthers by 7 points. The only thing Vegas cares about is making money. Vegas ultimately wants to have an equal number of bets for both teams, and that is how they derive the spreads. The point spread may change a number of times up until the game starts, based on how many bets are going for one team or the other.
Take this past weekend for example. On Friday the Bengals/Pats line was Even, meaning there was no spread either way and you basically could pick whichever team you thought would win, aka a "pick'em".
A lot of bettors put their money on the Bengals, which in turn moved the spread towards the Bengals favor all the way to -3 by the time the game started. So if you were like me and bet on the game at the last minute, you had to take the Bengals as 3 point favorites, which means the Bengals had to win by more than 3 points for me to win. Dumb bet by me.