In the NFL, the underdog Arizona Cardinals travelled to the Carolina Panthers last weekend and pulled off an unexpected victory to set up a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles for the right to go to the Super Bowl.
Arizona had only ever won two playoff games in its entire history before last week’s win over the Atlanta Falcons and have now become the last NFC team to make it to the Conference Championship game since the 1970 merger that created the NFL.
The Glendale-based team entered last weekend’s game in Charlotte as ten ten-point underdogs and had a 0-5 record in the Eastern Time Zone during the regular season. However, they raced to a 27-7 half-time lead and cruised past the mistake-prone Panthers, who had been the league's only unbeaten team at home in the regular season, by a 33-13 score.
Arizona will host Philadelphia this Sunday to determine the NFC representative for next month’s Super Bowl with bookmakers remaining unconvinced. VictorChandler.com lists the Cardinals at odds of 11/8 to win alongside BetDirect.com and StanJames.com. Slightly longer is the 6/4 being given by BetFred.com and ExtraBet.com while BoyleSports.com lists the home team at 31/20. ToteSport.com has Arizona at 13/8 followed by Bet365.com and Betfair.com at 17/10.
Philadelphia has a record of 9-6-1 and go into the game as favourites with Bet365.com giving them at odds of 1/2 alongside ToteSport.com, PaddyPower.com and ExtraBet.com. SportingBet.com has the Eagles at the slightly longer 20/39 while VictorChandler.com, BetFred.com, BetDirect.com and StanJames.com are offering 8/15. SkyBet.com has Philadelphia at 4/7 while Ladbrokes.com and WillHill.com are currently going with 10/19.
The winner of this weekend’s match-up will face either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Baltimore Ravens from the rival AFC conference at Super Bowl XLIII being held at Raymmond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on February 1.