Get Cardinals vs. Panthers player prop picks & odds for the 10/2/22 matchup.
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It’s a battle between Oklahoma’s Heisman-winning QB alums, and the bumbling, incompetent head coaches they’re now saddled with. Both teams are sitting at 1-2, and in danger of falling into a genuine free fall if they lose this game before going on to play a string of tougher opponents.
Baker Mayfield o204.5 passing yards
It’s been a rough beginning to Baker’s “fresh start” in Carolina, as he’s completed less than half of his passes in 2 of his 3 starts as a Panther. However, according to PFF, no other receiving group has played as badly as Carolina’s. The Panthers certainly don’t have an elite pass catcher group like some in the NFL, but between the likes of DJ Moore, Christian McCaffrey, and even Robby Anderson, they have enough talent to be a good bit above the league’s cellar in this area.
They’re also going up against a Cardinals secondary that has struggled to just about the greatest degree possible. Yes, they’ve played some strong air offenses, but they are attaining a nearly-impossible PFF grade below 30, and have yet to pick a pass off this season. They’re allowing 281 air yards per game, the third-worst figure in the league, despite their opponents often being in position to run the clock out on the ground. This situation is a perfect one for Baker to finally pull himself together, and take advantage of the shoddy Cardinals pass D to put up some solid counting stats. It doesn’t even have to be a tremendous performance- just adequate will do for this prop, and he’s certainly capable of that against this opponent.
Marquise Brown o5.5 Receptions
So far, the connection between Kyler Murray and his newest receiving target has only grown stronger each week. In week 3 against LA, that meant 140 yards across 14 catches on just 17 targets. As long as DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for his puzzling PED usage, I see Brown as getting legitimate WR1 targets, and certainly enough to get past 5 and secure the over for this prop. So far, this has certainly been the case, as he leads Arizona’s receiving crew in just about every major volume stat.
The Panthers coverage unit is one of the team’s best, but given the caliber of this team, that still only means it ranks right around average in PFF’s unit grades. Even so, its solid grade is mostly just propped up by the excellence of Jaycee Horn, the team’s only DB with an interception, or a PFF grade over 67 (his is a clean 80). Unless Horn is able to completely shadow Hollywood on every snap, he’ll have favorable matchups plenty of times throughout the game, and the Cardinals offensive gameplan for this weekend will likely have a significant focus on getting him into these opportunities.
Robbie Anderson o18.5
We’ve already talked about the Cardinals’ secondary struggles; it should be apparent by now that they’re susceptible to allowing the big play. The team is allowing an opponent passer rating of over 120, an MVP-level number for a QB, and you QBs get there without hitting some serious home runs. They’ve only broken up 4 passes, and have one dropped interception to go along with their zero caught- they simply are not in position to make plays.
While Robby Anderson and Baker Mayfield haven’t been the steadily productive connection that optimistic Panthers fans would have hoped for, they’ve been able to link up for the occasional big play. Anderson already has a touchdown of 75 yards to his name on the season, and his average depth of target is over 11 yards, including a couple of screen opportunities. When he has time, which he should against Arizona’s depressingly-bad pass rush, Mayfield has shown plenty of arm talent to go deep, and he and Anderson should link up on a handful of downfield plays this week; one of them is more likely than not to crack 18 yards.