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NFC Title Game: CAR Cruising at Home

Cardinals Panthers Newton Fitzgerald

The NFL’s Divisional Round is in the books, and now we know the road to Super Bowl 50 will go through Arizona or Carolina. While the signal-callers in the AFC semifinals will hog the headlines this week, football fans—and particularly bettors— shouldn’t overlook the potential classic matchup brewing in the NFC.

Shark Bites
  • The Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games at home.
  • The Cardinals are 1-4 SU in their last five games on the road against the Panthers.
  • The Cardinals are 1-6 ATS vs teams with winning records.

The Carolina Panthers (16-1 SU, 12-5 ATS) will welcome the Arizona Cardinals (14-3 SU, 9-8 ATS) to town in what’s looking like an incredibly evenly matched affair. The Cards opened as 3-point underdogs, which shouldn’t be particularly surprising considering Carolina’s dominance at home.

Arizona has been profitable in this spot, however, going 6-0 SU and ATS in its last six games when tabbed as an underdog of 3-points or less. Cam Newton and company have not lost at home since November 16, 2014—a streak that reached 12 in the wake of last weekend’s 31-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Arizona went 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS away from home in the regular season.

Totals bettors, take note: the OVER is 6-2 in the Panthers’ last eight games heading into this one. Carolina was one of the top OVER teams in the NFL this year (10-5-1 O/U). Five of the Cards’ previous seven games in the month of January have also gone above the closing total. The OVER/UNDER opened at 47 at most shops.

Another trend that favors bettors banking on high-scoring games: Carolina (31.2) and Arizona (30.3) were the only two teams in the NFL that averaged over 30 points per game this season.

A date with either Tom Brady and the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos is on the line for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Considering how strong both teams are on defense, it’s looking like it’s going to come down to an old fashioned quarterback shootout between grizzled veteran Carson Palmer and young hot shot Cam Newton.

Who do you give the edge to in this game? Let us know who you’re backing in the comment section below.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The Carolina Panthers were -4-point favorites at odds maker shops such as Bovada, while the NFL total was set at 47.5 for over under totals betting.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas pick a 28-20 win for the Panthers. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Arizona Cardinals vs Carolina Panthers Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Carolina battles the Arizona Cardinals, currently with a 14-3 mark (9-8 ATS). The over under records, important for totals betting, are 11-6 for the Panthers and 9-8 for the Cardinals. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Carolina vs Arizona injuries news.

According to the Power Rankings here at Odds Shark it's the No. 3-rated Carolina Panthers and the No. 5-rated Arizona Cardinals in this matchup.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Carolina Panthers No. 1-ranked offense (31.24 PPG) against a Arizona Cardinals defense that ranks No. 7 at 19.59 PPG. The Panthers passing attack has averaged 220 yards per game, less than the Cardinals give up through the air (231.65 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Arizona Cardinals own the league's No. 4-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 83.5 yards per game when on the road. Carolina, on the other hand, rates No. 3 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Arizona comes off a game where it received a 3-TD performance from Carson Palmer in defeating the Packers 26-20.

In their last game, Carolina got a 106-yard performance from Jonathan Stewart as a key part of its 31-24 win over Seattle.

Betting Trends
  • Arizona is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Arizona's last 7 games
  • Arizona is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
  • Arizona is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
  • Carolina is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games
  • Carolina is 16-1 SU in its last 17 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Carolina's last 8 games
  • Carolina is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home