Panthers vs. Falcons Point Spread: NFL Week 17 Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Dec 26, 2017

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There are several games with playoff ramifications on the final Sunday of the 2017 NFL regular season but none more so than Carolina visiting NFC South rival Atlanta.

Carolina
11-5
AT
December 31, 2017, 4:25 PM ET
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta
10-6
Pointspread +4.5 -110
Moneyline +185
Over / Under o +44.5

58%

Betting Action

42%

Pointspread -4.5 -110
Moneyline -225
Over / Under u +44.5

58%

Betting Action

42%

The Panthers have clinched a playoff spot but would win the NFC South with a victory and New Orleans loss at Tampa Bay. Atlanta is the NFC’s final wild-card team with a victory. It can get in with a loss but would need Seattle to lose at home to Arizona, which isn’t likely.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

It’s the first time since 2014 that the Panthers and Falcons close the season against one another. It will also be Carolina’s first trip to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Panthers likely don’t have fond memories of their final game in the Georgia Dome. That was Week 4 last season, a 48-33 Falcons romp. History was made in that one as Matt Ryan threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns, while Julio Jones caught 12 passes for 300 yards and a score. It was the first time in NFL annals that teammates had 500 yards passing and 300 yards receiving in the same game.

In Week 9 this year, the Panthers were 3-point home underdogs but beat the Falcons 20-17. Atlanta led 10-0 after one quarter but didn’t score again until it was down 20-10 with just over three minutes left in the game.  Carolina gashed the Atlanta defense for 201 yards rushing. Cam Newton led the Panthers with 86 yards on the ground and added a touchdown. He only threw for 137 yards. Ryan threw for 313 yards and two TDs but one costly interception, while Jones caught six balls for 118 yards. Jones also dropped what should have been a 39-yard TD catch as he was all alone.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina (11-4 SU, 9-6 ATS) kept its division title hopes alive – it loses a head-to-head tiebreaker to New Orleans – with a 22-19 home victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday to clinch a playoff spot. Newton scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 35 seconds left; he actually fumbled first on the play but recovered it himself and then scored. On the play before, the Panthers converted on a fourth-and 1 – it was fourth-and-3 but the Bucs’ Chris Baker was called for a neutral-zone infraction. Half the distance to the goal line made it fourth-and-1. Carolina didn’t play very well as it was outgained 392-255, and its other touchdown was on a 103-yard kickoff return by Damiere Byrd.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons (9-6 SU, 6-9 ATS) are of course defending NFC South and conference champions and would have clinched a playoff spot with a win Sunday in New Orleans but fell to 0-6 this season when failing to score at least 20 points as they lost 23-13. Ryan was sacked five times and the Atlanta running game managed just 67 yards. The Falcons were 1-for-10 on third down, 0-for-1 on fourth down and 1-for-4 in the red zone. They also had 10 penalties (eight on offence). Should Atlanta win this game, it likely will visit the Los Angeles Rams on wild-card weekend.

Panthers vs. Falcons Prediction

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