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The Cardinals (1-2) are coming off a 20-12 home defeat against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. The Cardinals outgained the Rams 365-339 in total yards but didn’t score a touchdown in the loss. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray went 37-for-58 with 314 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Cardinals receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown had a game-high 14-reception, 140-yard performance. The Cardinals’ defense allowed no touchdown passes but only sacked Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (249 passing yards) once.
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The Panthers (1-2) pulled out a 22-14 victory vs. the visiting division rival New Orleans Saints last week. The Panthers took a 13-0 lead into halftime with a 44-yard fumble recovery touchdown by Marquis Haynes Sr. and two 45+ yard field goals from Eddy Pineiro.
Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 12 of his 25 passes for 170 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Panthers receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. caught two passes for 90 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey compiled 108 yards on 25 carries. Derrick Brown and Jaycee Horn each tallied interceptions for the Panthers.
The Cardinals’ offense ranks 12th in passing yards (248.0), tied for 13th in points per game (20.7), and 17th in rushing yards (105.3). Murray has a passer rating of 82.6 and has been sacked five times. Brown leads the Cardinals with 24 receptions for 251 yards, a touchdown, and 11 first downs. Wide receiver Greg Dortch has tallied 20 receptions for 198 yards, a touchdown, and 10 first downs.
Running back James Conner has 90 yards on 30 carries with a touchdown and 11 first downs. Conner has also caught 10 passes for 73 yards and four first downs. Running back Eno Benjamin has 17 carries for 75 yards and four first downs.
Defensively, the Cardinals rank 31st in points per game allowed (29.0). Safety Budda Baker leads the Cardinals with 27 tackles. Safety Jalen Thompson has recorded 26 tackles and has a fumble recovery. Linebacker Zaven Collins has 19 tackles and a team-best two tackles for loss. The Cardinals’ defense has six total forced fumbles. Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. has two fumble recoveries.
The Panthers’ offense ranks tied for 13th in points per game (20.7), 14th in rushing yards (115.0), and 31st in passing yards (161.3). Mayfield has a passer rating of 80.8 and has been sacked nine times. Wide receiver Robbie Anderson leads the Panthers with nine receptions for 148 yards, a touchdown, and three first downs. McCaffrey is tops for the Panthers with 243 yards, a touchdown, and 13 first downs on 50 carries. McCafrrey also has the most catches on the Panthers (10) with 57 receiving yards and two first downs.
Defensively, the Panthers allow 19.7 points per game. Safety Xavier Woods leads the Panthers with 24 tackles. Linebacker Frankie Luvu is second on the Panthers with 21 tackles and has a team-best four tackles for loss, plus a forced fumble. Safety Jeremy Chinn and linebacker Shaq Thompson each have 20 tackles.
Notable players on the injury list for the Cardinals before Sept. 30 include wide receiver A.J. Green (doubtful), Connor (questionable), wide receiver Rondale Moore (questionable), Dortch (questionable), and defensive end J.J. Watt (questionable).
Key players as of Sept. 29 on the injury list for the Panthers include McCaffrey (questionable), Haynes Sr. (questionable), Luvu (questionable), Shenault Jr. (questionable), and tight end Ian Thomas (questionable).
The Panthers are favored by two points against the Cardinals. For the money line, it’s Cardinals +105 and Panthers -125. The over/under is set for 43.5 points. With both offenses up and down so far, figure on the under occurring.
The Cardinals will cover the spread and beat the Panthers to move to .500 on the season.
Written by Rolando Rosa, our US sports betting industry expert.