The team with the worst record in the NFL playoffs faces off with the most injury prone QB team in the NFL. Ladies and gentlemen we give you the Cardinals vs Panthers for our NFL Wild Card Playoff Pick.
Winners of the Wild Card round have won the Super Bowl nine times, including three of the past four seasons, so the outcomes of Saturday and Sunday’s games could be key.
At least one Super Bowl participant in seven of the past nine years played a Wild Card game. Wild Card games are important, very important.
[box style=’doc’]Broadcast times: 4:35 PM (ET) ESPN – Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Spanish on ESPN Deportes. The game will be streamed live in English and Spanish on WatchESPN to subscribers of participating television providers. ESPN’s Wild Card telecast will be simulcast locally on KASW in Phoenix and WJZY in Charlotte.[/box]
Even though Carolina comes into the playoffs with the weakest regular season record at 7-8-1, watch out for the Panthers, they can be dangerous if not sloppy.
Cam Newton is himself a wildcard and Ryan Lindley will enter this game with the lowest career passer rating (50.3) of any quarterback in the last 30 years.
Get all of our NFL Wildcard Weekend Playoff Picks and stay tuned for our game by game breakdowns leading right up to Superbowl XLIX
Arizona head coach Bruce Arians draws inspiration from the belief that Lindley has grown “light-years” in the past two weeks and a playoff debut is “not too big for him.”
I’m not entirely sure I believe that, but you’ve got to admire Arians for his positive thinking, he’s the sole reason the Cardinals had 11 wins in the regular season.
Arians may be up for Coach of the Year, having had to play 4 quarterbacks in one season. Typically a death knell for any team, the Cards have done an incredible job seeing through adversity.
They’ve taken “the next man up” philosophy to the next level and it’s amazing how the entire Cardinals locker room plays for him.
[box style=’doc’]AFC Wildcard Free Pick and Analysis: In today’s AFC Wildcard late game, the Ravens face-off against the Steelers at 8:15pm, get your free pick and analysis of this important AFC east coast rivalry. Be sure to keep an eye on our Free NFL Picks features all playoffs long[/box]
NFC Wildcard Betting Lines
Lines opened up at -4.5 (-109) favoring Carolina (7-8-1) over Arizona (11-5). When it was confirmed that Lindley was going to be at the helm, quarterbaking the Cardinals the line shifted to -6.5 with 54% of public bettors agreeing.
The public is putting their bets on the moneyline with 63% of straight bets on the Cardinals.
The Over/Under is at 38 with 62% of bettors favoring the UNDER.
NFC Wildcard Fast Facts
- The Arizona Cardinals (11-5) started the season 9-1, but they’ve lost two straight and four of their last six since their quarterback situation became decimated by injuries.
- The Carolina Panthers (7-8-1) went seven straight games without a victory before winning their final four to capture the NFC South title for the second straight season with a 34-3 victory at Atlanta in the regular-season finale.
- Carolina is still favored over Arizona despite finishing regular season with an under .500 record
- Injuries to both Palmer and backup Drew Stanton have caused Arizona’s offense to stall down the stretch leading to a 2-4 SU and 3-3 ATS finish.
- Saturday’s total is set at 38 points at the Sportsbooks. The UNDER is 6-2-1 in Arizona’s last nine road games and 5-0 in Carolina’s last five home games.
NFC Wild Card Playoff Pick
I’m going to go with the public betting volumes and take Cardinals on the Moneyline. If you’re feeling brave, go Against The Spread, grab Arizona to cover +6.5 while still taking the game loss. The Cardinals will win by a solid touchdown.