Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#271 Arizona Cardinals vs.
#272 Carolina Panthers
Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 4:05pm EDT
Bank Of America Stadium, Charlotte
Written by David Delano

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A pair of 1-2 teams will go to battle when the Carolina Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in an NFC matchup. Both teams are also 1-2 ATS and the over/under is also 1-2 on both sides. Last season, the Panthers beat the Cardinals 34-10 in Arizona as a seven-point dog.

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In need of a win

Arizona entered the season with an over/under win total set at 8.5. The season got off to a rough start with a 44-21 loss as a six-point home dog to the Chiefs. In Week 2, Arizona fell behind 20-0 to the Raiders at halftime but rallied back to win 29-23 in overtime as a 5.5-point road dog. Last week, the Cardinals faced the Rams and lost 20-12 at home as a 3.5-point dog.

The Cardinals are 15th averaging 353.3 yards per game on offense. The passing attack is 13th picking up 248 yards per game, and they are 17th adding 105.3 yards per game on the ground. Quarterback Kyler Murray is 15th with a 49.0 QBR and has three touchdowns and one interception and has added 65 yards and a touchdown with his feet as well. The running attack has been balanced with James Conner leading the team with 90 yards but with just three yards per attempt. Conner has been upgraded to probable for Sunday. The Cardinals are also dealing with other injuries, but the biggest loss they are fighting through is the absence of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is still serving a six-game suspension.

The Cardinals are 23rd in total defense allowing 383.7 yards per game. Arizona is 11th allowing 102.7 rushing yards per game, but 30th giving up 281 passing yards per contest.

 

Keep an eye on McCaffrey

The Panthers came into the season with an over/under win total set at 6.5. and are led at quarterback by Baker Mayfield, who they got in a trade from Cleveland.  Whether or not Mayfield is a long-term solution is yet to be seen, but from my perception, he hasn't been good. Mayfield is 32nd in the NFL with an 18.9 QBR and has thrown three touchdowns against one interception. Christian McCaffrey has been strong out of the backfield with 243 rushing yards and averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. 

Carolina opened up the season with a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns on a 58-yard field goal and followed that up with a 19-16 loss to the Giants as a one-point favorite. Last Sunday, the Panthers got their first victory of the year beating New Orleans 22-14 as a one-point dog. 

Overall the Panthers' offense is 30th averaging 276.3 total yards per game, 31st with 161.3 passing yards, and 14th with 115 rushing yards. McCaffrey is questionable with a quadriceps injury, and that will be a big blow to this offense if he can't go.  The defense is 18th allowing 348.7 yards per game. The Panthers are 22nd allowing 134.7 rushing yards per game, and 13th giving up 214 passing yards. Cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver and safety Xavier Woods are both listed as questionable.

 

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even if Christian McCaffrey ends up playing, I like the Cardinals to win this game, and if McCaffrey can't go, I definitely don't see the Panthers pulling this one out.

The biggest weakness for the Cardinals so far has been their pass defense, however, they have also faced Pat Mahomes, Derek Carr, and Matthew Stafford through the first three games, and I don't think Baker Mayfield is going to be able to take advantage of the Arizona secondary as well. I also expect to see a big game out of Kyler Murray as he and Mayfield have a rivalry going from their Oklahoma days. Arizona is also a much better team on the road where they have covered the spread in 19 of their last 28 games. I believe the wrong team is favored here, as Carolina is 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 home games and 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games overall. The Panthers are getting more respect than they have earned, and I am backing Arizona.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals +1

Full-Game Total Pick

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Take overtime out of the equation, and Arizona is averaging 18.7 ppg and has not topped the 23-point mark this season. Their offense has struggled to find consistency while dealing with injuries and the Hopkins suspension, and Kyler Murray is having a tough time carrying the team on his back. Arizona has also played to the under in 16 of their last 21 road games. As for Carolina, they could be without their best offensive weapon in McCaffrey. Even with McCaffrey, the Panthers have averaged 20.7 ppg and currently have one of the worst pass offenses in the NFL. The Panthers have also seen four of their last five games against NFC opponents fall below the total.

I will take the under with Arizona winning 23-17.

Prediction: Under 43.5
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Written By David Delano , "David Delano"

David Delano is a Bowling Green State University graduate with a passion for sports, traveling, and music. David loves to handicap MLB, NFL, NCAAF, NCAAB, NBA, WNBA, and is also a big fan of boxing and track and field. Over the years, David has worn several hats in the sports world, from being behind the camera to writing, filming, editing, scouting, and coaching, along with servicing his clients as a sports handicapper.  He is also an expert sports bettor. We are glad to have David on our Winners & Whiners team, and we recommend that you follow along with him every day. 

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