This Sunday the Carolina Panthers will host the Arizona Cardinals in a key NFC matchup. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at Bank of America Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX. Oddsmakers have the Panthers as a 3-point favorite with the total at 47 points. Get more NFL betting leans and game odds by clicking the link.

Cardinals vs Panthers Vegas Point Spread Preview

Arizona (3-3-1) comes into this game off a 6-6 tie against the Seahawks at home on Sunday Night Football. Arizona let one get away. The Cardinals had a 443 to 257 edge in total yards and 23-11 advantage in first downs.

Carolina (1-5) will look to snap a 4-game losing streak. Last time out the Panthers fell 38-41 at New Orleans. Carolina dug themselves a 21-point hole early, but came back to tie the game at 38-38. The defense just couln’t make a stop at the end, as the Saints won on a last second field goal.

You might recall the last time these two teams faced off against each other. It was last year’s NFC Championship Game. Carolina was a 3-point home favorite and won going away 49-15.

Free Pick & Odds Predictions: Panthers -3

Carolina has been the most disappointing team in the league to this point. No one thought the Panthers would be sitting at 1-5 after their first 6 games. While they have their problems, I don’t think they are nearly as bad as their record would indicate. My money is on Carolina to get their season headed back in the right direction with a win and cover over at home.

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One of the big keys here is that we catch the Panthers off their bye week. It’s also to the point now where it’s do or die for this team. If they want any chance at all of making the playoffs, this is a game they absolutely have to have. I expect Carolina to put everything they have into this game.

On the flip side of this, Arizona is in a tough spot. While they didn’t lose to Seattle, they certainly weren’t happy coming away with a tie. I just think it’s going to be near impossible off that physical game against Seattle to match the intensity of Carolina. Especially with this game being played on the road.

I also think it’s a better matchup than most people think. Carolina’s secondary has clearly been their weak spot this season. The Panthers are 26th against the pass compared to 7th against the run. When you think of Carson Palmer and the Cardinals offense, you think a strong passing attack. That’s actually not been the case this year. Arizona is actually 5th in rushing compared to 15th in passing.

At the same time, this Carolina offense has been playing really well this season. The Panthers rank in the Top 10 in both rushing (7th) and passing (8th). That’s with Cam Newton missing a game. They also have only had starting running back Jonathan Stewart for 3 games.

Keep in mind Carolina did as they pleased against this Arizona defense last year. Newton threw for 355 yards and 2 scores and the Panthers rushed for 152 yards and 3 more touchdowns. After laying it all on the line against the Seahawks, I think we could see a similar type of outburst here.