Cardinals vs Panthers Odds, Picks, Prediction for Week 4
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray.
- The Cardinals vs. Panthers spread is all over the place.
- Arizona is favored at one book, although Carolina still has the edge at most books.
- John LanFranca breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Cardinals vs. Panthers Odds
If you rolled out of bed in the fall each Sunday morning over the past five years and simply bet every NFL road underdog, you would have a positive return on investment each season.
Road underdogs are 15-9 (62.5%) against the number this season. Since the beginning of 2021, they are 108-80 (55.6%). And since the start of 2019, 265-205 (56.4%). Spots like the Panthers being favored over the Cardinals this week are the reason why.
Cardinals vs. Panthers Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Cardinals and Panthers match up statistically:
Cardinals vs. Panthers DVOA Breakdown
Despite being outscored 31-0 in the 1st quarter this season, the Cardinals offense remains in the top 10 in EPA per play (expected points added). They’ll take on a Carolina defense that has played sound football thus far and ranks 14th in DVOA while only allowing 5.9 yards per pass attempt. However, I don't believe this defense has truly been tested, as it has faced Jameis Winston, Jacoby Brissett and Daniel Jones.
Contrast this to the Cardinals' defense, which has been tasked with slowing down Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford. The metrics can be deceiving at times, which it is why it's important to take a step back and look at the big picture. We can look to fade a Baker Mayfield-led offense against an attacking Cardinals' defense.
The Panthers' offense has trouble sustaining drives and ranks last in the NFL in plays per drive (4.7). Carolina is also the worst passing offense on 3rd downs, converting only 19.2% of the time when relying on Mayfield to move the sticks. Mayfield’s expected completion percentage is 63.4%, but his actual completion percentage is 51.9% — an 11.5% differential. That differential is the worst in the NFL of all quarterbacks with at least 50 passing attempts.
The Cardinals blitz at the second-highest rate in the NFL (37.6%). Historically, Mayfield’s positive EPA per play when not under duress decreases significantly to -0.6 EPA when he faces pressure. This season, he actually has a worse passer rating in a clean pocket (77.0) than when under pressure.
Mayfield's pocket presence has not improved, and his footwork unravels at the slightest sign of adversity in the backfield. The Arizona defense is undoubtedly going to test him in this area.
It’s well well documented that the Cardinals under Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray have been highly profitable as underdogs as Kingsbury is 19-9-2 (68%) against the spread when catching points.
In comparison, Matt Rhule has failed when listed as the favorite. In his time in Carolina, Rhule is 3-10 (23%) ATS when the Panthers are expected to win. His quarterback has not fared much better either.
Baker Mayfield is 11-22-1 (33.3%) in his career as a favorite and home-field advantage hasn't done much to save him as he is 7-13-1 (35%) as a home favorite.
One reason road underdogs are so profitable is simply because bettors do not like to wager on inferior teams — especially when they won’t be feeding off the home crowd.
In this case, we actually get the superior team, whose difficult early season schedule has given us several points of value. It’s not often you can get points versus the 32nd-ranked signal caller, according to QBR. The wrong team is favored in this game Sunday.
Bet Cardinals -1.5 on FanDuel | Play to -2.5