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Panthers Falcons Betting – Turner Leads Atlanta To Run-Heavy Win Over Carolina

Posted by Stan Simmons on 10/18/2011 5:17:20 PM

Carolina is the sports betting darling of the moment when it comes to covering spreads, and a lot of it is down to their rookie quarterback. But the Panthers travel to Atlanta this week for an NFC South showdown and the Falcons will use their running game to keep the Carolina offense on the sidelines.

What: NFL Betting
When: Sunday, October 16th, 1:00 PM ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Pick: Atlanta Falcons -4

Why Bet On Carolina Panthers (1-4 SU, 4-1 ATS)

The Panthers are getting better each week, but they still came up short in a 30-27 loss at home to New Orleans due to a late score. Cam Newton had a solid game, going 16-of-31 for 224 yards, a pair of touchdowns and a pick, and he added a rushing score, but the Panthers really stepped up on the ground, running for 162 yards. With Newton (seven carries, 27 yards, a score), DeAngelo Williams (nine carries, 115 yards, a touchdown) and Jonathan Stewart (six carries, 20 yards), Carolina should be in the top 10 in rushing; they rank 13th right now as they’re starting to open up the playbook a little more for Newton. The Panthers were 7-of-12 on third down, and they actually had more first downs on the ground (nine) than through the air (seven).

The Carolina defense did a good job of trying to keep the Panthers in the game, but they were dreadful on third down as the Saints converted 12 of their 17 opportunities to move the chains. Carolina still has a little work to do on that side of the ball, and you can’t overstate the absence of linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. Now, Omar Gaither (knee) will be out for a couple of weeks, and the Panthers are already 28th in the league against the run. The Panthers have to slow down Michael Turner if they have a chance of beating the Falcons in Atlanta. But NFL betting players love the Panthers for their backdoor covers, so they could be worth a shot.

Why Bet On Atlanta Falcons (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS)

Atlanta got off to a great start in scoring the first 14 points of their game against Green Bay, but fell 25-14 to the Packers as they tried to avenge a stunning postseason blowout at home last season. The offense couldn’t get it going after those two early touchdowns, and Matt Ryan threw a couple of interceptions. Ryan went 18-of-32 for 167 yards and a touchdown, but he was badly outplayed by Green Bay counterpart Aaron Rodgers. The Falcons failed to put the Packers away in the first half when they had the chance and it shows that they’re still missing the killer instinct needed to seriously contend in the NFC. Explosive rookie receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is doubtful for this game, so be sure to check the injury report before making your NFL betting pick.

The Falcons are slipping, but the horses are still there for a breakout performance. Ryan is much better at home than he showed against the Packers, who seem to have his number. Roddy White is getting healthier, while Tony Gonzalez is still one of the top-five tight ends in the league. Turner was great early in the Green Bay game, but faded and then the Falcons went to the air to try and catch up to the Packers. The issues are coming on defense, where Atlanta is 25th in the league, and a banged-up secondary is getting torched, coming in 28th in the NFL against the pass. A good gameplan for the Falcons would be to run Turner into the ground and keep Newton and the Carolina passing game off the field. 

How It Will Play Out

NFL betting odds have the Falcons as a 4-point favorite at home, where they are 3-2 SU and ATS against the Panthers in their last five games, with three games going over the posted total. This has the potential for a shootout as both teams have fantastic skill players and struggling defenses. It’ll be a battle of wills as to who can impose their game on the other team.

Atlanta needs to get back on track and they can do that with Turner, who should be able to run through the Carolina linebackers. This will also keep Newton on the sidelines and out of the end zone as he has transformed the Carolina offense into a high-powered unit who can compete with anyone. But with Turner leading the way and controlling the clock, we like Atlanta to barely cover the online betting spread in this contest.

Panthers Falcons Betting Pick: Atlanta Falcons


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