The Carolina Panthers (5-7) travel to Georgia this weekend for an NFC South battle with the Atlanta Falcons (3-9). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 8th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the game will be televised on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Falcons listed as 3-point home favorites. The spread hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as Atlanta is currently available at -3. The total for this matchup is 47.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 14 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Falcons vs Panthers Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Panthers have now lost four straight games after falling 29-21 at home against Washington last weekend. Carolina jumped out to an early 14-3 lead but completely collapsed over the final three quarters of the game, getting outscored 26-7. QB Kyle Allen continued to struggle through the air, going 27/46 for 278 passing yards and two touchdowns but also getting picked off once as well. Christian McCaffrey couldn’t find a lot of room on the ground, rushing for only 44 yards on 14 carries. D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel led the way for the receiving corps, combining for 140 passing yards and two touchdowns on ten catches. As a whole, the Panthers generated just over 300 total yards of offense and found the end zone three times in the defeat.
Carolina wasn’t that great defensively against the Redskins, giving up almost 400 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. The Panthers had no answer for Washington RB Derrius Guice, allowing him to rack up 129 yards and two touchdowns on just ten carries.
The Falcons came up short at home against New Orleans last weekend, losing 26-18 to drop to just 3-9 on the season overall. Atlanta trailed 17-9 at the half and couldn’t find a way to pull off the comeback over the final two quarters, scoring just nine points. QB Matt Ryan had an up and down game, going 35/50 for 312 passing yards and two touchdowns but also getting picked off twice as well. RB Devonta Freeman led the way on the ground, rushing for 51 yards on a team-high 17 carries. Calvin Ridley also chipped in, making eight catches for 91 receiving yards. Overall, the Falcons gained just over 400 total yards of offense and scored two touchdowns in the loss.
Atlanta had an average outing on the other side of the ball against the Saints, surrendering under 300 total yards of offense and two touchdowns. The Falcons couldn’t find a way to contain Taysom Hill, as he scored two touchdowns while also racking up 45 all-purpose yards.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: Falcons -3
It’s pretty easy to make a case for avoiding this NFC South battle altogether, as both the spread and the total look very efficient. As tempted as I am by the UNDER on 47.5 total points scored, both defenses have had their fare share of struggles so far this season, while both offenses have no shortage of game-breakers as well. With Julio Jones expected to be back in the lineup for the Falcons here in Week 14, my favorite play in this spot is likely laying the field goal and rolling with the slight home favorite. The Panthers are in the middle of a huge downswing, losing four straight outings including a tough 29-3 home loss against this same Atlanta squad back in mid-November.
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The Falcons have certainly dominated this matchup over the past couple of seasons, covering the number in seven out of the last ten meetings between these two NFC South rivals. Atlanta is also a rock-solid 5-1 against the spread over their last six home games against the Panthers, which certainly bodes well for them on Sunday afternoon. On the other side, Carolina is just 2-4 against the spread in their last six games overall and a brutal 0-5 outright over their last six battles with NFC opponents. I’m going to lay the three points and take a shot with the Falcons at home – give me Atlanta to cover!