The Carolina Panthers won their second straight game of the season last time and the Atlanta Falcons are yet to get in the win column. Watch these two collide in a divisional NFL battle on Sunday (1pm ET, live on Fox).
The Panthers pulled off an upset over the Arizona Cardinals as 3-point home underdogs while the Falcons got handled easily by the Packers. No one was surprised to see the Falcons lose as 7-point underdogs, but coach Dan Quinn is certainly on the hot seat regardless. Falcons’ fans still can’t be over the games they blew against the Cowboys and the Bears. This week might not get any better as the Carolina Panthers come to town.
Here USAbetting gives our Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons predictions and picks against the American facing betting sites at the end of this big Sunday football game preview.
Falcons Secondary is Injury Riddled
The Falcons’ secondary has been decimated by injuries so far this season and it shows in their abysmal statistics. They have been without starting safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen, corners AJ Terrell and Darqueze Dennard, and they just lost safeties Damonthe Kazee and Jaylinn Hawkins last week against the Packers. Neal and Allen were both able to practice this week and seem poised to play.
This would be a huge upgrade for a secondary that desperately needs the help. Their passing defense has been getting exploited due to the injuries and lack of depth. Last week against the Packers they gave up 327 yards passing and four touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers. The Falcons are second worst in the NFL in points allowed per game (34.5) and are second worst in passing yards allowed per game (341.5). They are also ranked 25th in explosive play rates (plays of over 20 yards). They are unable to get a stop on defense, which allows for teams to come back even when the offense gets off to a hot start. Will the Panthers be able to exploit this weakness and move the ball through air?
Bridgewater Hitting Form
Panthers’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is coming off his best offensive performance of the year with a 31-21 victory over the Cardinals. Bridgewater threw for 276 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He wasn’t sacked once and added 32 yards on the ground as well. The Panthers rank 8th in the NFL in passing yards per game with 274.0 allowed per game through four weeks. I think Bridgewater and the Panthers will be able to move the ball through the air.
One interesting trend that lends to the Panthers is Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn’s ineptitude as a favorite. So far in his career Quinn is 18-33 straight up as a favorite. Quinn and the Falcons are desperate for a win.
A major injury to keep an eye on is star receiver Julio Jones. He did not practice again Thursday and I would be surprised to see him give it a go on Sunday with a hamstring injury that he reaggravated Monday night against the Packers. Fellow wide receiver Calvin Ridley was also limited in practice with a thigh injury. Another notable injury is starting defensive tackle Grady Jarrett who was limited in practice on Wednesday. This run stuffer is a huge component in the Falcons’ defense. If neither of these players are fit to go Sunday then the Falcons are in big trouble and Quinn will drop to 18-34 as a favorite. Even if they are able to suit up how effective can they truly be?
Our Betting Preview’s Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons Predictions & Picks Conclusion
We are going to be riding with the Carolina Panthers on the moneyline as a +105 road dog. I initially looked at the over with such a weak Falcons’ secondary and a Panthers defense that gives up 25.5 points per game, but we ultimately felt more comfortable going with the Panthers on the side and to win outright.
The main worry with the over is the status of Julio Jones for the Falcons. Jones is currently being listed as a game-time decision. This Falcons’ offense becomes significantly more one dimensional without the star wide out, which makes us much more comfortable with our position on the Panthers.
The Panthers rank 6th in the NFL with 1.8 takeaways per game, but the Falcons have been good at not turning the ball over. This will be one of the keys to the game. If Carolina can continue to win the turnover battle they will win the game. So to summarize the one betting pick at the conclusion of this Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons predictions and preview article:
- Bet on the Carolina Panthers @ best odds of +105 on the moneyline with BetOnline.