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Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers Free Pick 10/6/13

Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

NFL Football: Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm (University of Phoenix Stadium)

The Line: Arizona Cardinals +1.5 -- Over/Under: 42.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox

The Carolina Panthers and their dynamic Quarterback Cam Newton head to Phoenix on Sunday to face off against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Arizona Cardinals are currently sitting at 2-2 on the year, and are tied with the Niners for second place in the NFC West.  The Cards haven’t looked overly impressive in their two wins this season, but getting a W on the board is all that counts in this league.  The Cards are coming off a win last week against the struggling Bucs in Tampa.  Arizona defeated the Bucs 13-10 as the Cardinals tied it up with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and then took the lead for good not even two minutes later on a 27 yards Jay Feely field goal.  The Cardinals had just 296 yards of total offense against the Bucs, but considering the talent Tampa Bay has on the defensive side of the ball, that isn’t a bad showing for this team.  Carson Palmer has been solid for Arizona on the year, and while Palmer still tends to throw to the wrong helmet at times, the signal caller did make some plays, completing 21/38 for 248 yards and a score.  The ground game never really found its footing for the Cardinals on the day, but better days will come as the Bucs have a very solid front seven.

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Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers Free Pick 10/6/13

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are sitting at just 1-2 this season, and are coming off a bye last Sunday.  It’s an early season bye, but for the Panthers it probably came at a good time, allowing this team to regroup some after two tough losses in the first three weeks.  The Panthers lost to Seattle in week one as the Seahawks came back late and the same can be said for week two, as EJ Manuel connected with Stevie Johnson on a two yard score as time was ticking away against the Bills.  The Panthers were finally able to get into the win column in week three, defeating the struggling Giants 38-0.  The Panthers outgained the Giants 402-150 on the day, controlling things from the very start.  Cam Newton was excellent against the Giants, completing 15/27 for 223 yards and three scores.  The ground game as a whole was effective for the Panthers on the day as Carolina rushed for 194 yards on 46 attempts.  The Panthers are one of those teams that are much better than their record suggests, and despite two losses in their first three games, this team has impressed me thus far. 

So far this season the Panthers are 1-2 against the spread, and in their last four games as a road favorite of three points or less, the Panthers are 3-1 against the number.  As a home dog of three points or less, the Cardinals are 4-1 against the spread in their last five.

My play here is going to be on the under.  Both the Panthers, and the Cardinals have the ability to put up points, but both are playing well defensively this season.  The Panthers strength is with their run game, which for them, sets up the pass.  The Cardinals are only allowing 3 yards per attempt this season on the ground, and should force the Panthers into a few more second and third and longs, forcing them to become more predictable.  The Panthers also have a solid defense, holding opponents to just 5.2 yards per play and a third down conversion percentage of just 28.6 percent.  Take the under in Arizona on Sunday.

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