Why Bet on the Cardinals (+170 NFL odds to Win the NFC)The Cardinals, after having to sit in the shadows of the Seahawks in the NFC West over the recent years, now have a chance to be appreciated for the good team they are, thanks to the revolutionary coaching of Bruce Arians. Winning the NFC West crown and owning the No. 2 seed in the conference means that Saturday’s game against Green Bay will take place in Arizona. With homefield advantage and the confidence derived from hammering Green Bay 38-8 in late December when the two teams met in Arizona, it goes without saying that the Cards should be more than capable of delivering another win.
Why Bet on the Panthers (+190 NFL odds to Win the NFC)In my humble opinion, the Panthers are not getting the respect they deserve in this year’s NFL lines. After compiling a franchise-best 15-1 record and losing just one game (which was in fact a close single-digit road loss), the Panthers are still priced behind the Cardinals in the odds to win the NFC. The pricing is no different in the Super Bowl odds, where they come behind Arizona and the injury-laden New England Patriots. For bettors, that should however be taken as good news, as it simply means there is potential value on the resurgent Panthers, who doubled the win total from last season’s campaign. Speaking of betting value, the Panthers already defeated the Seahawks this season, a 27-23 road win at the CenturyLink field, which has Seattle at the disadvantage when the two teams meet in Carolina this weekend. I mean, this is a Carolina team that finished the regular season with a flawless 8-0 SU home record and Superman Newton is dubbing on his opponents like his new baby boy’s life depends on it. Therefore, although the current Seattle defense is head and shoulders better than the version they faced earlier in the season, Newton and his underrated teammates are selling too hot to let the chance pass you buy. And as far as playing the Packers or Cardinals is concerned, that is if the Panthers make it to the NFC Championship game, Carolina and its league-best 11-1 conference record underline the pedigree of a team capable of tussling against the best-of-the-best in the NFC. Sure, Arizona’s smash-mouth defense will be a headache and so will be the talent-filled Palmer-led offense. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and his offense can equally be dangerous, as we already witnessed when the two met earlier this season. All that will, however, not matter if the Panthers can tap into their home magic and balanced squad, which has seen them impress at every single turn of the season so far.