The Carolina Panthers have to quickly regroup from a costly loss as they visit the NFC leading Cardinals in Week 10. And NFL betting trends are beginning to catch on that the Cardinals are for real.
This game between the Panthers vs. Cardinals comes with injuries to key players on both sides. Without Sam Darnold, the Panthers are dire straights against a top team. Still, with a depleted lineup, Arizona is a heavy favorite.
So keep reading to see if the Carolina Panthers can cover the point spread for this Week 10 matchup.
Carolina Panthers Offense
The big story coming out of Charlotte this week involves injuries to vital starters. Sam Darnold wasn’t exactly lighting up opposing defenses, but the fourth-year quarterback kept Carolina in contention for the Wild Card.
Darnold’s shoulder injury has sent a ripple through the franchise. This week, journeyman P.J. Walker was pressed into the starting role, though the Panthers signed Cam Newton (and Matt Barkley).
The good news is that Christian McCaffrey is healthy again. However, the Panthers will need an enormous effort from him and D.J. Moore to have a chance. Expect to see more touches from Chuba Hubbard and McCaffrey for a more concentrated ground attack.
But the Panthers are in the bottom half of the NFL in most offensive categories. Walker is saying all the right things in preparation for this game in Week 10, but in his only previous start, P.J. beat a weak Lions team in 2020 and still threw 2 INTs.
Carolina Panthers Defense
Brian Burns is a significant loss to the Panthers’ defense if he can’t go against Arizona. The play where Mac Jones twisted his ankle is under review by the NFL. But that’s little comfort for a team that needs leaders to play in big games.
The Carolina Panthers do own the 2nd-ranked defense in the NFL. So whoever is starting at quarterback for Arizona won’t have it easy. Yet, the Cardinals did beat an outstanding 49ers defense last week.
The Panthers won’t have to contend with running back Chase Edmonds, who will not play. But Arizona is deep at the position with James Conner and recently promoted Eno Benjamin.
Carolina’s strength on defense is in the passing game, holding opponents to 181.4 yards pre-game. Yet if Kyler Murray plays, the defense will have to keep him inside the pocket as much as possible.
Panthers vs. Cardinals (-10)
While the Carolina Panthers are near the top of the NFL in defense, so is Arizona. The Cardinals rank 4th in total defense and have shut down some formidable opponents. Both teams may have a hard time scoring this week.
Keeping the score low is the only chance Carolina has of staying close. Without Sam Darnold to hit D.J. Moore, the offense will have to depend on Christian McCaffrey.
On the Arizona side, there are far more weapons to choose from for significant gains. DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green are healthy, and Rondale Moore showed he belongs in last week’s win.
Can The Panthers Cover?
Going into the home of the NFL’s best team is hard enough with everyone healthy. But for the Carolina Panthers, two key elements will be out of the lineup for Week 10. The rest of the Panther defense could make life miserable for the Arizona offense, but I don’t see that happening for an entire game, so I will be betting on the league-leading Cardinals to win easily. Ten points have proven not to be a large margin for the home team to overcome.
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