Atlanta Falcons (5-9) vs Carolina Panthers (6-8)Date : 12/23/2018
Time : 1:00 PM
Location : Bank of America Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers will return home to Bank of America Stadium for their 2nd consecutive home game where they will take on the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC South clash, the opening kickoff is slated for 1:00 PM. The Falcons are eliminated from post-season contention which has them looking forward to next year while the Panthers
Atlanta Falcons's Latest Performance :
The Atlanta Falcons are usually a surefire bet to make the postseason but they were unable to get rolling this season as injuries and inconsistencies on the defense hurt this team. The Falcons were able to reach their full potential last weekend against the Arizona Cardinals as they stomped the visitors 40-14 behind an all-around good game from every unit on the field. QB Matt Ryan had yet another solid game for the Falcons as he threw for 231 yards and 2 TDs. Despite the Falcons having a below-average year, Ryan has still elevated his play as he enters week 16 throwing for 4307 yards, 30 TDs, and 6 interceptions. A huge reason behind the Falcons success on offense was the threat of the ground game as Tevin Coleman had a breakthrough game for the offense. Coleman was able to rack up 145 yards and a TD on 11 carries which is easily his best outing of the season as he enters this matchup with only 704 yards and 3 TDs. On the receiving end of things, Ryan was able to hit his favorite target in Julio Jones as the former Alabama Crimson Tide WR caught 6 passes for a total of 82 yards and a TD. Julio Jones has asserted himself as one of the best WRs in the NFL as he enters this matchup with 100 receptions, 1511 yards, and 6 TDs. The defense was able to step up against the NFL’s worst offense as they rattled rookie QB Josh Rosen. DB Brian Poole has a big outing with 5 tackles, a sack, and an interception while star LB Deion Jones returned an interception for a TD.
Carolina Panthers's Latest Performance :
The Carolina Panthers started off 2018 with a record of 6-2 and looked like a true contender in the NFC but now this team sits outside of the playoff picture as they are coming off their 6th consecutive loss. The Panthers were able to strike 1st against the New Orleans Saints but they were unable to get much going after that in the 12-9 loss. QB Cam Newton has not looked like the MVP candidate we have grown to love as the 29-year-old was only able to throw for 131 yards and an interception while adding just 15 yards on the ground. Newton has struggled down the stretch of the season which can partially be attributed to his shoulder injury and the former Auburn product will enter week 16 with 3395 passing yards, 24 TDs, and 13 interceptions while also adding 488 rushing yards and 4 TDs. RB Christian McCaffery was the lone bright spot for the Panthers as he was able to rush for 53 yards on 15 carries while also racking up a team-high 8 catches for 67 yards, McCaffery also recorded a TD pass in the 1st quarter on a trick play. McCaffery has put together an all-pro caliber season as the 2nd year pro enters the final stretch with 1747 scrimmage yards and 13 TDs. The defense was solid for the Panthers as they were able to keep the high-powered Saints in check for most of the game as they entered the 4th quarter up 7-6. LB Luke Kuechly was flying all over the field as he was able to rack up a team-high 13 tackles while his LB partner Thomas Davis contributed 12 tackles. James Bradberry came up with a big interception for the Panthers before the end of the 1st half which was the 1st of the season for the 25-year-old.
How Atlanta Falcons & Carolina Panthers Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Atlanta is 4-10 ATS, 1-5 ATS on the road.
Carolina is 6-8 ATS, 5-2 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Atlanta ranks 10th in the NFL in team scoring as they score an average of 25.4 PPG while Carolina ranks 12th as they score an average of 24.9 PPG.
Carolina ranks 23rd in the NFL in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 25.5 PPG while Atlanta ranks 29th as they hold opponents to an average of 27.2 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Carolina Panthers -4
My reason for the pick :
These two teams have trended in opposite directions over the last part of the season but these teams are playing for different reasons at the end of the season as the Panthers are fighting for a playoff spot while the Falcons are looking to stay healthy and get a good pick in the draft. I will be backing the Panthers in this matchup as they need to win out to have any shot of making the postseason as that 6th seed and given the fact that Cam Newton and Christian McCaffery have been one of the best duos in football I see them running up and down the throats of one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Sure the Falcons looked great on defense against the Cardinals but they went against one of the worst offenses in the NFL so at the end of the day I can’t take much out of that.
Betting trends for Atlanta Falcons:
- Atlanta is 1-3 ATS after a win this season.
Betting trends for Carolina Panthers:
- Carolina is 3-2 ATS as the home favorite this season.