The Carolina Panthers finished under .500 during the regular season, but they’ve now advanced to the second round of the NFL playoffs after beating the Arizona Cardinals and covering the posted spread at the sportsbooks on Wild Card Weekend.
The Panthers got past the Cardinals 27-16 as a 6.5-point home favorite on the NFL odds in the first round of the playoffs, despite Cam Newton throwing for just 198 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the game. Jonathan Stewart rushed for 123 yards and a score in that Carolina victory.
[ Check out all of this week’s opening NFL betting lines here at OddsShark.com ]
The other Saturday matchup on Wild Card Weekend saw the Baltimore Ravens pull off a 30-17 road upset over the Pittsburgh Steelers as 3-point underdogs on the betting lines. Joe Flacco threw for 259 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in that game for Baltimore, who outscored Pittsburgh 20-8 in the second half.
The Indianapolis Colts didn’t have much trouble winning or covering against the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s opening Wild Card Weekend matchup, as they picked up a 26-10 home victory as a 3-point favorite. Andrew Luck passed for 376 yards with one touchdown strike in that contest, with Adam Vinatieri booting four field goals.
And the Dallas Cowboys rounded out the field for the Divisional Round of the playoffs late on Sunday afternoon with a 24-20 home win over the Detroit Lions in which they failed to cover the 6.5-point spread on the NFL betting lines. Tony Romo threw for 293 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for Dallas in that win, with DeMarco Murray rushing for 75 yards and a score.
Here are all the SU and ATS results for the Wild Card Weekend NFL schedule . . .
Carolina 27, Arizona 16 (Carolina -6.5)
Baltimore 30, Pittsburgh 17 (Pittsburgh -3)
Indianapolis 26, Cincinnati 10 (Indianapolis -3)
Dallas 24, Detroit 20 (Dallas -6.5)