Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers – Saturday, Jan. 3
Current BAS’ Line: Panthers are 5 1/2-point Favorites and the total is 38
Two teams that most betting experts thought would miss the NFL Playoffs this season will try and get past the Wild Card Round this Saturday afternoon when the 11-5 Arizona Cardinals head into Bank of America Stadium as four-point underdogs against the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers. BetAnySports has listed the betting odds for the total in this game at 38.
The Cardinals burst out of the gate with a 9-1 straight-up record through their first 10 games, but a rash of injuries especially at the quarterback position resulted in a 2-4 record down the stretch. Arizona also went 11-5 this season against the spread and the total stayed UNDER in 10 of the 16 games.
Carson Palmer was lost for the season with a torn ACL and Drew Stanton remains day-to-day with a sprained ACL, so it may be up to Ryan Lindley to keep Arizona’s dream of being the first NFL team to ever play in a Super Bowl at its home stadium alive. This might be a pretty tall task considering the way Lindley has played in his previous two starts.
Carolina won three of its first five games this season both SU and ATS, but it did not record its fourth SU victory of the year until early December after a 0-6-1 SU mid-season slide. The net result was a losing record that was still good enough to win the watered-down NFC South. The Panthers went an even 8-8 ATS with the total staying UNDER in four of their last six games.
Cam Newton had some injuries issues of his own after getting banged-up in an auto accident, but the Panthers’ quarterback has shown no lingering effects in his last couple of starts. The biggest reason while Carolina has been able to build momentum from its current SU four-game winning streak (2-2 ATS) is a revitalized defense that has not allowed more than 17 points in any of the contests during this run. It held Atlanta to just a field goal in this past Sunday’s 34-3 romp as a 2.5-point road underdog on BetAnySports closing NFL betting odds.
This game has a really good chance to stay UNDER the total with the betting line set at 38, but I am going with Arizona and the four points as my official pick in this game. Both team’s defense will prevail to keep this a tight three-point contest either way right up until the final gun.