Cardinals QB Carson Palmer is 5-1 O/U in his past five outdoor starts
The Arizona Cardinals are in Carolina this week to finish off the first-half of their 2016 season. At 3-3-1 straight-up, not much has been decided thus far for Arizona. In fact you could almost call their season a ‘push’, draw… or even a tie.
This game has been moved into the 1 pm eastern slot for kickoff, flexed out of the later card thanks to Carolina’s 1-5 record. Arizona has a bye week on-deck and will make good use of that time to try and get healthier at wide receiver and in the secondary. Michael Floyd (questionable) is nursing a hamstring and John Brown is complications that could be due to a sickle cell trait but Bruch Arians is hopeful he can start. After turning three catches into 84 yards against Seattle, JJ Nelson is expected to play a bigger role in the offense and Carson Palmer’s biggest weapon, Larry Fitzgerald, is operating at 100-percent.
Carolina returns from their bye week Sunday and other than LT Michael Oher (concussion), the team looks well equipped to try and get their season back on track. The Panthers have struggled on third downs this year (40.7%) and they were just one for eight in the latest home game, a 17-14 loss to the Bucs. Derek Anderson started in place of Cam Newton that night and with RB Jonathan Stewart also out, the Panthers offense looked like the reason why NFL ratings are down.
Stewart returned against New Orleans in Week 6 and rushed for 85 yards on 19 carries with a pair of touchdowns. He, Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olson will need to step up their game Sunday against a Cards defense that ranks second overall with just 290 yards allowed per game.
Despite sluggish starts to their season, the Panthers know they have a good opportunity right now to get back on track. They’ve had success against the Cards in back-to-back playoff years, including a 49-15 win that vaulted them to the Super Bowl in January. Home teams faced with playoff revenge in this situation are 28-14 O/U (67-percent) and the subset against strong ATS teams from the previous season is 8-3-1 O/U. There is also a yards per point angle “live” in this game that is 8-3 O/U since the start of 2011, and one of the unders was on a total of 51 (finished with 48 points). Home teams in those 11 games are outscoring their opponents 28-24 on average.
The past five road teams with a bye on-deck vs. a host just off the break are 4-1 O/U and although its a small sample, those five games finished 10 points “Over” on an average total of 47. Weather for Sunday looks perfect so I’m taking advantage of this good price and watching for these two to shoot it out.