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Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers Free Pick

The 14-3 Arizona Cardinals head into the 16-1 Carolina Panthers today for this NFC Championship game on grass of Bank of America Stadium, Jan 24, 2016. Kick off is scheduled for 6:40PM ET.

Betting Odds
Point Spread: Panthers -3
Total Line: 47

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Arizona allowed a Hail Mary game-tying TD before putting away Green Bay 26-20 in OT on Saturday. WR Larry Fitzgerald had a 75-yard catch-and-run to set up the winning score, a 4-yard shuttle pass to him. QB Carson Palmer (who won his first ever playoff game) finished 25-41 for 349 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions. He threw several passes late in the game that could have been picked off. Fitzgerald finished with 8 catches for 176 yards and a TD. The defense had a sack and a pick but allowed 135 rushing yards on only 22 carries.

Carolina built a 31-0 halftime lead before hanging on for a 31-24 win over Seattle on Sunday. QB Cam Newton was 16-22 for 161 yards and a TD. He was sacked once. TE Greg Olsen Caught 6 passes for 77 yards and a TD. RB Jonathan Stewart had 18 carries for 106 yards and 2 TDs and the Panthers ran for 144 yards as a team. MLB Luke Kuechly led the defense with 11 tackles and returned an interception 14 yards for a TD.

Cardinals at Panthers Betting Trends

Arizona is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 matchups with Carolina.
The Cardinals are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 playoff games.
Carolina is 7-2 ATS at home this year.
The Panthers have produced 13 overs and 5 unders in their 18 playoff games.

Consensus Pick (ATS)
Arizona: 32%
Carolina: 68%

Free NFL Pick

Here’s what I think are the keys angles to the NFC Title game. The Panthers scored ZERO points in the second half and this wasn’t a march down the field and turn it over type of thing. Carolina had a total of 75 yards in the half and were just holding on at the end. The Seahawks threw for 325 yards exposing the Panthers’ weakness in pass defense. This unit has allowed 293 yards through the air per game over their last four games and will now meet the No. 2 passing offense in the league. They just don’t have the personnel now after losing their starting CB Charles Tillman and their best back up CB Bene Benwikere. QB Carson Palmer is dealing with a finger issue and his throws weren’t always on target against Green Bay and he did make some poor decisions throwing into double coverage. That said, I believe he’ll be better this week mentally after finally getting his first playoff win of his career and it’s been reported that the finger is coming along. I’ll take a shot with the dog here with on paper a big edge in the defensive match ups.

Take the Arizona Cardinals +3.5

Special thanks to Rich Crew for stopping by and giving out his against the spread pick on the NFC Championship game. You can get more of his predictions and free picks from other expert prognosticators by visiting SBS’ Free Picks

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