Falcons Panthers Betting – Newton, Panthers Run Over Falcons
Sports betting players should stay on top of Carolina’s odds for next season as the Panthers are a contender to break out, although they have a lot of work to do on defense. Still, with their dynamic rookie quarterback and a running game with plenty of weapons, the Panthers should avenge a earlier loss to the Falcons this weekend.
What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, December 11th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Pick: Carolina Panthers +2.5
Why Bet On Atlanta Falcons (7-5 SU, 4-6-2 ATS)
The Falcons couldn’t get going offensively in a 17-10 loss in Houston, although a lot of credit has to go to the Texans’ defense. Matt Ryan was just 20-of-46 for 267 yards, a touchdown and two picks, and Michael Turner had just 44 yards on 14 carries, although he was definitely less than 100%. The ground game was a major key to this game as the Texans ran for 162 yards to just 70 yards for the Falcons, and that means they could keep the Atlanta defense on the field for over 35 minutes. Four players had 10 tackles or more for the Falcons, led by 11 from linebacker Curtis Lofton and they also had three sacks, but eventually they wore down and gave up a fourth-quarter touchdown to Arian Foster and the offense couldn’t respond for the Falcons, who have been incredibly tough to handicap this season for a number of reasons.
Turner (groin) said he was healthy and was just stymied by the Houston run defense, but he has had issues with that injury in the past, so it’s worth watching this week, although you shouldn’t be too alarmed if he doesn’t practice a lot. The Falcons will need him as the Panthers aren’t that strong against the run, and if Turner can get going, that takes the pressure off Ryan, who has been inconsistent all season. Injuries to Brent Grimes (knee) and William Moore (leg) have hurt the secondary, and the Atlanta offense is going to have their hands full against a strong Carolina offense.
Why Bet On Carolina Panthers (4-8 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Cam Newton had a monster day in a 38-19 win in Tampa Bay, going 12-of-21 for 204 yards and a score, but he also ran for three scores and set the season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback as he has 13 with four games to go. Jonathan Stewart ran for 80 yards and a score as the Panthers racked up 163 yards on the ground, and they’re now fifth in the league in rushing. Between Newton, Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, you never know who is going to get the ball in the Carolina backfield and all three can hurt you badly. The running game is taking precedence lately, and if the Panthers can manage to find a No.2 receiver to play opposite Steve Smith (who had two catches for 32 yards against the Bucs), they’re going to be almost impossible to stop, especially as Newton is learning to avoid interceptions. Carolina’s porous defense actually played well against the Bucs, although they were facing Josh Johnson instead of an injured Josh Freeman at quarterback, and an early 14-0 lead allowed the Panthers to focus on a pass rush. Carolina’s 21st-ranked defense doesn’t need that many factors to think about.
Guard Travelle Wharton (back) had to leave the Tampa Bay game, while defensive lineman Sione Fua (hamstring) tried to warm up, but he couldn’t go against the Bucs. The Panthers need all hands on deck defensively as the offense is set, but they’re not going to move up the ranks in the NFC South without an improved defense. The division is one where offense rules, and you can get away with a decent defense, but Carolina’s unit isn’t even decent yet and that is the side of the ball where the Panthers need the most work done.
How It Will Play Out
NFL betting odds have the Falcons as a 2.5-point favorite on the road in Charlotte, where they are 3-2 SU and ATS in their last five visits, with three games going under the posted total, along with a push. Carolina is a solid 4-2 ATS at home this season, while Atlanta is 2-4 ATS on the road.
This game will be all about rushing, and even though Atlanta has been phenomenal in that respect, they struggled to stop the Texans on the ground. The first meeting was a 31-17 win for the Falcons at home on October 16th, and they picked off Newton three times. He has learned a lot since that game and he’ll be more careful with the ball; that’ll be the difference as the Panthers pull off an upset and cover the online betting spread at home.
Pick: Carolina Panthers