NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions For Panthers vs. Cardinals: Betting Preview For Week 10
Lance King/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian McCaffrey.
- After opening at Cardinals -10, the line has moved with news that Arizona may be without key starters.
- Is Kyler Murray playing? The updated spread sits at Cardinals -7 at most books as of Sunday afternoon, with Murray and DeAndre Hopkins both reportedly game-time decisions.
- The Panthers are just one-half game behind Atlanta for the last NFC playoff spot.
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
The Cardinals lead the NFL with an 8-1 record, but they haven’t dominated in a way consistent with that record. Arizona lost at home to a Green Bay team without All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and only beat the 3-5 Vikings at home thanks to a missed last-second field goal.
The Panthers, meanwhile, enter this road battle in desperate need of a win to stay in the NFC playoff hunt. They turn away from turnover-prone and injured Sam Darnold to a new quarterback, having lost five of their last six games.
Do the Cardinals continue their winning ways at home, or can a new quarterback trigger a big road win for the Panthers?
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Panthers vs. Cardinals Injury Report
- QB Sam Darnold (shoulder): Out
- CB Rashaan Melvin (hand): Out
- DE Brian Burns (foot) : Questionable
- LB Frankie Luvu (knee): Questionable
- RB Chase Edmonds (ankle): Out
- RB Jonathan Ward (concussion): Out
- OL Justin Pugh (calf): Out
- S James Wiggins (knee): Out
- QB Kyler Murray (ankle): Questionable
- WR DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring): Questionable
- WR Rondale Moore (neck/concussion): Questionable
- RG Max Garcia (Achilles): Questionable
- S Budda Baker (concussion/knee): Questionable
- DE Jordan Phillips (groin): Questionable
Panthers vs. Cardinals Matchup
|Panthers Offense||DVOA Rank||Cardinals Defense|
|Panthers Defense||DVOA Rank||Cardinals Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Panthers Need Spark Under Center
Carolina placed Sam Darnold on injured reserve this week and will turn to former XFL star P.J. Walker. The Panthers also brought back Cam Newton, who was an NFL MVP with the team in 2015.
All-Pro Christian McCaffrey returned last week, having been out with a lingering hamstring injury since the Panthers’ Week 3 win over the Texans. He tallied over 100 total yards with four receptions on just a 48% snap share against New England.
Carolina’s receiving weapons are at full strength with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr. all healthy for the first time since Week 6. Marshall returned from a concussion last week, but he failed to register a reception on just one target.
Despite the struggles of the offense, the Panthers defense has been strong all season. Carolina thrives against both the pass and run, with its front seven proving especially impressive. The Panthers’ front seven is one of the NFL’s best, averaging 2.6 sacks per game despite having to seen a huge increase in snaps with their offense struggling.
How Are Cardinals 8-1?
Arizona has an 8-1 record because of explosive offense and timely defense, but the Cardinals have also been very fortunate with turnovers, ranking third in the NFL with a +8 turnover margin.
However, Arizona is also first with 1.8 offensive fumbles per game, so its turnover margin remains high because it has recovered 80% of those fumbles. That high turnover margin has translated to fast starts, forcing opponents to often play from behind.
Running back James Conner has been fantastic, ranking first among all running backs with 11 touchdowns. He will have a bigger role this week with Chase Edmonds out due to a high-ankle sprain.
The Arizona passing game has relied on efficiency over volume. Quarterback Kyler Murray ranks second in yards per attempt (8.9) but only 23rd in total pass attempts. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been a big disappointment, ranking 29th in receiving yards (486) and 36th in receptions (35). Hopkins has battled nagging injuries all season and is again listed as questionable for this one after missing last week’s win over the 49ers, as did Murray.
The Cardinals won last week’s game against the 49ers, despite having their most injuries of the season. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy exceeded expectations, but that may have been a result of a last-minute change from Murray’s dual-threat ability.
A.J. Green returns from the COVID-19 list, but explosive rookie Rondale Moore may miss due to a concussion.
There’s a point at which these injuries will catch up to Arizona, and it could very well be this week.
NFL Pick: Panthers vs. Cardinals
There is a good chance that Murray, Hopkins or both miss this game. That would lead to a drop in the point spread on Sunday morning.
With McCaffrey fully healthy, I expect the Panthers to stay true to Matt Rhule’s promise of running the ball more. Arizona’s run defense has strong metrics, but that is inflated due to the opposition usually playing from behind. Arizona is allowing a mind-blowing 130 rushing yards per game at home this season, making its 8-1 record even more shocking.
The Panthers will be highly motivated since they are just one-half game behind Atlanta for the last NFC playoff spot. Getting double-digit points against a conference rival in this spot is very enticing.
Kliff Kingsbury has not been a great bet in these situations, going just 4-7 against the spread as home favorites, per Action Labs. I’m taking the double-digit points with a Panthers team that just needs to limit the turnovers to stay competitive.
Pick: Panthers +10.5 | Bet to: Panthers +9.5
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