Saturday January 23rd, 2016

The Arizona Cardinals are 3–8 straight up and 5–6 against the spread in their last 11 games against the Carolina Panthers, including losses in four of their last five trips to Carolina. The Cardinals hope to turn that misfortune around this Sunday when they visit the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game. 

Arizona is a 3-point road betting underdog at Bank of America Stadium according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In their last three playoff games as an underdog of three points or more, the Cardinals are 0–3 SU and 1–2 ATS.

Just three weeks after blowing the Green Bay Packers out 38–8 at home, the Arizona Cardinals had a much more difficult game on their hands in the divisional round last week. But after a sluggish start saw them score just seven points in the first half, the Cardinals eventually pulled out a 26–20 win in overtime. 

Carson Palmer led the Cardinals offense to more yards per game (408.3) than any other team in the NFL during the regular season, and will try to get off to a better start against the Panthers on Sunday. 

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Despite the lack of playoff success as a mid-sized underdog, the Cardinals have generally fared well as a small dog. Arizona is 6–0 SU and ATS in its last six games as an underdog of three points or less per the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Carolina Panthers had the best record in the NFL during the regular season at 15–1 SU and 11–5 ATS, and they looked the part of the NFL’s best team last Sunday. Jumping out to a 31–0 first half lead over the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers cruised to a 31–24 win and cover to kick off their postseason in style.

Carolina scored more points than any other team in 2015 with 31.3 per game and is 7–5 SU and 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 postseason games. 

The total in Sunday’s game has been set at 48 points. The OVER is 6–2 in Carolina’s last eight games. This NFC Championship Game is a fascinating one to try to handicap; both teams may be known for their scoring defenses (each allowed under 20 points per game this year), but these are also the two highest scoring offenses in the NFL.

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