An NFC South interdivisional matchup between the last two NFC champions with aspirations of getting back to the Super Bowl is the marquee game early Sunday afternoon.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panther
Point Spread: Panthers -2 Date: Nov. 5, 1:00 PM ET Location: Bank of American Stadium – Charlotte, North Carolina
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Panthers opened as 1.5-point favourites on the Sports Interaction NFL odds board with a total set at 43.5. Sports Interaction has since moved the line up a half point and now list the Panthers as 2-point faves.
Carolina is 5-3 straight up and 4-4 against the spread on the year with a 4-4 over/under mark. The Falcons are 4-3 straight up, 2-5 against the spread and they snapped a three-game losing streak last weekend when topped the New York Jets 25-20. Atlanta failed to cover in the contest and hasn’t come away with ATS win since Week 3.
The Falcons are 3-0 SU and ATS in their last three games against the Panthers and 4-1 ATS in their last five games against divisional opponents.
Carolina, meanwhile, is 0-4 ATS in its last four home games and 2-6 ATS in its last eight games against NFC South competition. The under is 6-1-1 in the last eight games between these two sides.
The NFC South is still wide open according to the Sports Interaction NFL futures board. New Orleans is listed at the favourite at +130 with Atlanta +200 and Carolina +225 close behind.
Atlanta ranks in the top 5 in total offense with 374.4 yards gained per game but the team is middle in the pack in points scored per game at just 21.9. The main reason for this has been the Falcons’ inability to come away with seven points instead of three when they’re in striking distance on offense.
The Dirty Birds scored touchdowns on 64 percent of their red zone chances in 2016. This season they’re finding pay dirt only 48 percent of the time when they get inside the 20 yard line.
Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly returned to the Panthers and played a major role in Carolina’s defensive dominance of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kuechly had six tackles and interception and a pass defended in the 17-3 win in his first game back from sitting out the last two weeks because concussion symptoms.
Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers Prediction
Falcons 20-Panthers 18