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Cardinals Panthers Betting – Bottom-Rung Teams Clash in Charlotte

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/14/2010 3:32:00 PM
cardinals panthers betting

The Arizona Cardinals have three more wins than the Carolina Panthers. Why are the Panthers favored to win this Sunday? There’s a simple explanation.

NFL Betting: Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers

Online Betting Odds: Panthers -2.5

Why To Bet On The Cardinals

The Cardinals’ best chance of winning lies on the other side of the field. The Panthers are indeed the worst team in the NFL this season. Carolina’s only win came against the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 24. The Panthers lost two games in the final minute of play – at the New Orleans Saints and then at the Cleveland Browns – over the course of the season, but on every other Sunday, they’ve been dumped by a double-digit margin.

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen has had an uneven season, but the real reason for Carolina’s tumble is that the Panthers have been devastated by tons of injuries throughout their roster, particularly on the offensive line. No one’s available to block or provide any kind of support for Clausen or the Panthers’ talented running backs. Coach John Fox might be on the hot seat, but he would have been hard pressed to win this many games with all the attrition that’s affected the Carolina roster.

It’s also worth noting that the Cardinals, with third-string quarterback John Skelton under center, were able to blast the Denver Broncos by a 43-13 score this past Sunday. Just because Arizona is trotting out a very inexperienced quarterback doesn’t mean the Cardinals can’t bring the hammer down against a bad opponent. Denver and Carolina are very similar right now; if Arizona can beat Denver by 30 at home, it can beat Carolina by two or three points on the road.

Why To Bet On The Panthers

The reason why the Panthers are favored – and it is a good one – is that Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt has made the decision to turn to quarterback John Skelton to run his offense. Skelton is a 22-year-old newbie from Fordham – not a particularly distinguished college football powerhouse – who is being thrown into the fire in order to gain experience near the end of a season that’s gone very wrong for the Cardinals.

There’s nothing left for Arizona to pursue, so Whisenhunt – who has suffered through a year of terrible quarterbacking in suburban Phoenix – wants to see what his third-string guy can do. Skelton did preside over a 43-13 win last Sunday against Denver, but his stat line was hardly convincing. The new Cardinal quarterback hit just 15 of 37 passes for 146 yards. Yes, he didn’t throw an interception, but one wonders if a similar completion percentage will be good enough to win his first road game, and moreover, his first game after a long cross-country flight to the Eastern time zone, which generally doesn’t treat Western teams very kindly. This is the perfect setup for Carolina to grab a second win on the season. The team knows this is its last best chance to win a game in 2010.

How The Game Will Play Out

Skelton is very likely to throw at least two interceptions and give Carolina the assistance it needs. Even bad teams normally win more than one ballgame in a season, and this is the time for the Panthers to escape the possibility of a 1-15 year. Take Carolina by at least a field goal if not more.

Cardinals Panthers Betting Pick: Panthers


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