Cardinals vs Panthers Pick: Expert Takes Side in Week 4 Matchup

Cardinals vs Panthers Pick: Expert Takes Side in Week 4 Matchup article feature image

Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray.

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Cardinals vs. Panthers Odds

Cardinals Odds-1
Panthers Odds+1
Moneyline-112 / -104
TimeSunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday and via FanDuel NJ

Pick: Bet Cardinals -1

The healthy version of the Panthers passing game has been even worse than the injured version of the Cardinals passing game: Arizona ranks 24th in Football Outsiders’ passing DVOA while Carolina is 30th.

Baker Mayfield, who has struggled against pressure his entire career, will face a Cardinals defense that is ranked fifth in pressure rate (32.1%, per Pro Football Reference) thanks to defensive coordinator Vance Joseph dialing up blitzes a league-high 46.8% of the time. According to data from PFF, Mayfield’s passer rating when blitzed this season is 62.6, which ranks 28th of 33 qualifiers. His passing grade of 41.4 when the defense sends extra rushers ranks 32nd, ahead of only Justin Fields.

Even more concerning for the Panthers is that Mayfield has only been on target with 62.3% of his throws from a clean pocket, which ranks 33rd. Mayfield is averaging just 183.3 passing yards per game, and 35% of his yardage has come on three completions (50 yards to Ian Thomas, 75-yards TD to Robby Anderson, 67-yard TD to Laviska Shenault), which is not sustainable.

The Cardinals defense ranks 31st in DVOA, but much of that is from being dismantled by the Chiefs in Week 1 and a low start in Week 2. Since halftime of Week 2, Arizona has allowed 23 points across six-plus quarters against the Raiders and Rams – two superior offenses to the Panthers.

Carolina has already lost to Jacoby Brissett and Daniel Jones this season before beating an injured Jameis Winston. Kyler Murray will easily be the best and most mobile quarterback they’ve faced and should be able to do enough to get a win.

Despite operating without DeAndre Hopkins (suspension) and Rondale Moore (hamstring), who should be back this week, the Cardinals have outgained each of their last two opponents by an average of 57.5 yards per game.

According to our Action Labs data, Baker Mayfield is just 11-22-1 (33%) ATS in his career as a favorite (including 0-2 this season), falling short of the spread by an average of 3.3 points per game.

How about Mayfield’s coach, Matt Rhule? He’s been even worse as a favorite, going 3-10 with an average cover margin of -7.8.

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