Arizona at Carolina Free Pick & Betting Spread
When the 2016 NFL schedule was released in April, one of the top games circled by everyone was this week’s matchup between Arizona and Carolina in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. But both the Cardinals and Panthers have disappointed this season. Carolina is off its bye week and a small favorite in NFL betting.
Here’s a Look at the Arizona at Carolina Free Pick, Betting Spread & TV Info
When: Sunday, Oct. 30, 1 PM ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Radio: Arizona / Carolina
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Panthers -3 (47)
Why Bet on Arizona?
The Cardinals (3-3- 1) come off a wacky 6-6 tie last week against Seattle. Arizona dominated the game statistically and looked to be in shape to win it after Carson Palmer’s 40-yard pass to J.J. Nelson set up Chandler Catanzaro’s 24-yard kick in overtime. But he missed it. Then, the Seahawks took possession and marched down field against a defense that all but shut down them during regulation. Seattle then had its own special-teams blunder when kicker Steven Hauschka missed a 28-yard field goal wide left.
Catanzaro, who kicked field goals of 46 and 45 yards earlier, also had a 39-yard field goal blocked by a great play by Bobby Wagner. And with 4:44 left in regulation, Cardinals punter Ryan Quigley had a punt blocked, which gave the Seahawks possession at the Arizona 22. It was the first time Seattle had crossed the 50 all game. It led to the Seahawks’ game-tying field goal. Special teams!
It was the Cardinals’ first tie since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis, and the first for Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976. There had not been an NFL tie with no touchdowns scored since 1972.
Cardinals WR Jaron Brown suffered an ACL tear Sunday night. Brown had been playing a bigger role with Michael Floyd struggling and John Brown (hamstrings, sickle-cell) battling through injury. Floyd suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s tie with the Seahawks, but is expected to be ready for Week 8. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians expects John Brown back for Week 8 from his sickle-cell issue.
Why Bet on Carolina?
The Panthers are 1-5 and just two teams in league history have started 1-5 and made the playoffs. Cam Newton has taken a step back from his MVP season, but not as big as people think. He has eight touchdown passes and six interceptions to go with three rushing touchdowns, with one less start because of a concussion. Newton had nine touchdown passes and seven interceptions this time a year ago to go with four rushing touchdowns. What’s different is the Panthers aren’t undefeated and the defense is giving up 29.3 points a game compared to 18.3.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the key for the team turning things around is getting back on “good footing” on the defensive side. He likes where the offense is now. “The easiest thing to do is quit, but shoot, we’ve got 10 games to play,” the two-time NFL Coach of the Year said. “What we’ve got to do is take care of our business and do the things we’re capable of. That starts now.’’
The Chiefs won their final 10 games after a 1-5 start to make the playoffs, the only time since 1990 a team has accomplished that feat. The Panthers have been strong finishers under Rivera since he was hired in 2011. They are 30-11 in the months of November and December, and 19-4 in December.
In last year’s NFC title game, Carolina rolled 49-15 as it forced Arizona’s Palmer into six turnovers (four INTs, two fumbles). Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, and Carolina’s big-play defense stifled Arizona’s top-ranked offense. The 49 points were the most for an NFC title game winner.
My Expert Pick
Home team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Over is 6-1 in Panthers last 7 games following a straight up loss.
Over is 4-0 in Cardinals last 4 road games.
Take the Panthers and go over the total.