Panthers vs. Cardinals Betting Odds & Picks: What to Expect Without Cam Newton
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kyler Murray
Panthers at Cardinals Betting Odds
- Odds: Cardinals -2.5
- Total: 44.5
- Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds above as of Friday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).
Cam Newton (foot) won’t play on Sunday. And with backup Kyle Allen getting the start, the Panthers have moved from 2.5-point favorites to … 2.5-point underdogs.
But is Newton’s absence really worth five points to the spread given his recent performance? Or is Carolina being undervalued in Arizona?
Our analysts break down the most important angles of this game, featuring analysis of the QB matchup and picks.
Panthers-Cardinals Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Cardinals
Outside of OL Lamont Gaillard (knee) and DL Jonathan Bullard (hamstring) missing practice all week, the Cardinals are close to full strength.
The biggest storyline for this game is the health of Newton (foot), and was officially ruled out on Friday.
Also working in the Cardinals’ favor is the potential absence of DT Kawann Short (shoulder) who also hasn’t practiced all week. Short is tied for a team-high in quarterback hurries through two games. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Kyler Murray vs. Kyle Allen
The first four letters of their name and the fact they started their collegiate career at Texas A&M is where the similarities start and end for Murray and Allen.
Murray was the first overall pick in the 2019 draft; Allen went undrafted in 2018. Murray passed for 4,261 yards with 42 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in his final season at Oklahoma, adding 1,001 yards and 12 TDs on the ground; Allen’s best collegiate season saw him top out at 2,210 yards with a 17-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio and 102 yards and two TDs rushing.
That said, I’m not sure the line move from Carolina -2.5 to +2.5 due to Newton’s absence was warranted — I actually had the Cardinals rated as the better team at home assuming Cam was playing. The Panthers are 1-9 in their past 10 games dating back to last season, including 0-8 with Cam. Ironically, their only win came in the one game Allen started in Week 17, albeit against a Saints team resting its starters.
Still, Allen is in a tough spot against a Cardinals defense that’s been more competitive than expected, ranking a solid 15th in points allowed per drive (2.0) and holding an explosive Ravens’ offense to 23 points last week.
Murray, meanwhile, has rebounded after a rocky start in the first three quarters of Week 1 against the Lions to go 45-of-69 (65.2%) for 584 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) with two TDs and no INTs over his past six quarters of action. — Chris Raybon
Stuckey: Panthers +2.5; Over 44.5
I actually think this is a great spot to back Carolina with Newton out.
After starting 0-2 — with both losses coming at home — the Panthers hit the road with extra prep/rest after last week’s Thursday night game. You should get a desperate team’s best effort on the road here.
Most importantly, Allen is getting the nod at quarterback. And while the market has adjusted the line in Arizona’s favor by five points (although not through any key numbers), I actually think Allen starting will help Carolina’s offense. Newton simply is not himself right now. He’s either not healthy or forgot how to accurately throw a football. In last week’s loss to Tampa Bay, more than 60% of his balls were uncatchable! 60!
And through two weeks, he’s been the most inaccurate passer — by a wide margin. And it’s not like he’s been running like he has in the past. Newton has only five rushing attempts for -2 yards this season. And we’re talking about a guy who has rushed for almost 5,000 yards over his first eight NFL seasons.
Cam has no touchdowns and one interception in two games with a Total QBR of 26.9. It’s been as ugly, as you’ve heard.
Allen can at least get the ball down the field to Carolina’s speedy receivers, who will be matched up against an Arizona defense still playing without its top two corners. And as I said before, it’s not like the Panthers will see any drop-off in the QB running department.
This is still a deeply flawed Arizona team across the board.
I’m buying low on the Panthers. And as a +2.5 dog, it’s also a great teaser piece, especially if the +3 never pops in the market — which you should hold out for if you like Carolina.
I also like the over up to 45. I think Allen will actually improve this Panthers’ offense, and we know both teams play fast. They both rank inside the top six in seconds per play in neutral situations. Maybe they go a little slower with Allen, but I think the improved passing game can make up for any drop-off there.