Panthers Falcons Betting – Falcons Need Win To Clinch Best Record In NFC
The sports betting online experts know what is on the line in this game. The Atlanta Falcons need this game to clinch the NFC South and the best record in the NFC. Even after a disappointing loss at home to the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons can still march into the playoffs the top team in the NFC and with a win under their belts. All is pretty much lost for the Carolina Panthers. Their coach won’t be around next season and they don’t have any positioning to play for. But that is probably what makes them dangerous.
- What: NFL betting
- When: Sunday, January 2nd, 1:00 PM ET
- Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
- Pick: Atlanta Falcons (no line)
What’s On The Line
The Falcons (12-3) can still finish the season 13-3 and enter the playoffs as the top seed in the NFC. In the back of their minds will be how the Saints beat them in a critical game in their own building. The Panthers (2-13) will be the clear winner in the competition for the first draft pick of 2011 win or lose, so they really have nothing to play for except to not be embarrassed on the last day of the season.
Offensive Matchups: Panthers Falcons Betting
Matt Ryan showed signs of panic in the game against the Saints and it is making the football betting experts wonder if Ryan is “Matty Ice” in pretty important regular season games, but not so icy when it comes down to critical games that have playoff implications. Running back Michael Turner showed up against the Saints and continues to head one of the best running games in the NFL. The Falcons are hoping that Ryan learned something in the Saints loss because Turner cannot take the Falcons to the Super Bowl on his own.
The Panthers have the worst offense in the league averaging just 256 total yards per game. Head coach John Fox completely dropped the ball on the development of rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen, and it is evident in the Panthers offense. The running game is ranked 14th in the league, but the passing game is so bad that it brings the entire offense down.
Betting Edge: Falcons
Defensive Matchups: Panthers Falcons Betting
The Falcons showed that they have a fast and aggressive pass rush when they beat the Saints offense line up and down the field in their week 16 loss. Where the Falcons ran into trouble is in their linebacking corps and secondary. It looked like the Saints were able to confuse the Falcons all night long, and that may be something the Panthers can use.
The Carolina Panthers actually have a fairly aggressive pass rush that can get to the quarterback. The problem for Carolina is that their run defense is ranked 23rd in the league and tends to give up big runs at the worst possible moment. When facing a running back like Michael Turner, an inconsistent defense can present many opportunities to the running back.
Betting Edge: Falcons
Notable Injuries: Panthers Falcons Betting
The Panthers injury list for starters is light but could be significant. Running back Tony Flammetta (ankle) is definitely out for this game. Cornerback Chris Gamble (ankle) is doubtful and will probably not play. Defensive end Tyler Brayton (hip) and guard Mackenzy Bernadeau (knee) are probable but are expected to play.
The Falcons have a lot of important injuries to consider for this game. Defensive end John Abraham (groin), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee) and running back Ovie Mughelli (shoulder) are all questionable.
Betting Edge: Panthers
Outlook and Pick: Panthers Falcons Betting
Carolina head coach John Fox has said that his team will play all out because they have nothing to lose in this game. That is a nice sentiment, but the Falcons do have something to lose. Atlanta has no intention on losing the NFC South title because of a week 17 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Tony’s Pick: Atlanta Falcons