Panthers vs. Falcons Betting Picks, Predictions & Odds: Public Is on the Right Side of This Spread
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2).
- What can we expect from the Carolina Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons -- their first game without Ron Rivera?
- Our experts preview this NFC South matchup, featuring betting odds and picks below.
- You'll also find analysis of the biggest mismatch and Sean Koerner's projected spread.
Panthers at Falcons Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds
- Odds: Falcons -3
- Over/Under: 47
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
In a matchup of two teams going nowhere, the Falcons have emerged as the more popular team in this matchup, attracting more than 65% of the betting tickets. But are they the better bet?
Our experts preview this NFC South divisional matchup, with analysis of the odds, mismatches and more.
Panthers-Falcons Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Falcons
I think the Falcons are the healthier team if Austin Hooper (knee) and Julio Jones (shoulder) suit up. Both players have been getting in limited practices this week, which are encouraging signs. Otherwise, the Panthers would get the nod as the healthier team.
Greg Olsen (concussion) is expected to be out, and the Panthers are expected to trot out a trio of tight end in Chris Manhertz, Ian Thomas and Alex Armah. Thomas is probably the most likely to lead that trio in routes run and targets, but the Panthers saying they want to do a committee adds some risk. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Devonta Freeman vs. Panthers Run Defense
The Panthers’ run defense has been far and away the league’s worst. Carolina has performed 17.8% worse on every single run play when compared to league average based on situation and opponent.
Last week, the Panthers allowed both Derrius Guice (129 yards, 12.9 YPC) and veteran Adrian Peterson (99 rushing yards, 7.6 YPC) to have massive ground performances.
While the Falcons have struggled to run the ball effectively, their ground game should be bolstered by Devonta Freeman in his second game back from injury. Last week, Freeman carried 17 times for a modest 51 rushing yards, but his volume was encouraging.
The Falcons will face a substantially easier defense this week at home against the Panthers.
The potential return of All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones and tight end Austin Hooper should give Freeman less resistance up front. Since 2016, when Freeman has faced a bottom-four run defense at home, he’s produced per-game averages of 76.5 rushing yards, 21.3 receiving yards, 1.5 rushing touchdowns and 21.3 fantasy points.
Carolina’s secondary, while among the league’s best, will certainly struggle against a potential fully loaded Atlanta receiving corps. However, the Panthers will also need to address their biggest defensive efficiency against one of the NFL’s most versatile running backs. — Mike Randle
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Falcons-3
- Projected Total: 47
I’m right in line with the market, so I see no value here. — Sean Koerner
PRO System Match
Since 2003, the under is 831-738-29 (53.0%) in division games. Unders have been a smart play in division games as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment.
It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points). It’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.
Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 186-112-3 (62.4%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,481 following this strategy.
A majority of tickets are on the under and the total has decreased from 48 to 47. Bet the under now before the line decreases further. — John Ewing
PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.
Sean Zerillo: Falcons -3; Under 47
The market appears to agree with John Ewing’s assessment thus far — with 56% of the tickets and 68% of the cash on the total driving the number down from 48.5 to 47.
Both teams work quickly, as the Panthers rank second (25.48 seconds) and the Falcons rank sixth (26.61 seconds) in time between plays — while Atlanta is third in plays per game and Carolina is sixth. Still, I’ll side with history getting the under ticket to the window.
As for the side, these two teams met on Nov. 17, with the Falcons winning 29-3 in Carolina thanks to four interceptions by Kyle Allen.
Both teams are essentially in free fall — the Panthers have lost four games in a row, just fired Ron Rivera and may move on from Cam Newton; while the Falcons are 3-9 and have all but given Dan Quinn the pink slip.
Typically, teams are undervalued after their coach is fired because guys come out extra hungry and ready to protect their own job — but this doesn’t feel like one of those spots.
Rivera was a father figure to his players, and the all-time winningest coach in franchise history. When you read about how his players feel about him and how they took the news, you realize that this is not your typical coach firing. Their players seem completely deflated.
The Falcons’ run game was sparked last week by the return of Freeman, who missed the first matchup against the Panthers’ league-worst run defense, and Atlanta might also get both Jones and Hooper back this week putting extra pressure on Carolina’s secondary.
Whether the Panthers are motivated are not, this Falcons team is healthier now than when they beat up Carolina on the road just a few weeks ago.
Sean Zerillo is 195-131-4 (59.8%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.