NFC Championship -Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers Preview (Jan. 24)
The NFL’s two highest scoring teams will face each other in the NFC Championship. The 16-1 Carolina Panthers come in a perfect 9-0 at home this season, the Arizona Cardinals have a 7-1 road record, with the lone road defeat coming week 6 at Pittsburgh.
Looking at both teams, its hard to find a clear advantage on either side. Led by Carson Palmer, Arizona has the 2nd ranked passing offense in the NFL and also the 8th ranked rushing offense. Carolina comes in as the leagues highest scoring team, ranking second in rushing yards per game, and first in turnover differential. The Panthers had a league high 39 take-aways during the regular season and added two interceptions against Russell Wilson and Seattle in a 31-24 divisional playoff win.
Arizona ranked 2nd behind Carolina with 33 take-aways during the regular season and 4th in turnover differential. Both teams gave up slightly over 19 points per game during the regular season.
I see this game as a toss up. The Cardinals were my Super Bowl pick well before the regular season ended, so I almost feel obligated to pick them. However, I am picking the PANTHERS -3. For betting purposes however, smarter money is on the OVER 48.
(Carolina 34 Arizona 30)
***Bet Sports Strong Rating D****
A-Bet with confidence
B-Strong lean, but bet with caution
C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money
D-Prediction but not a good feel either way