By: Jason Green
What is up with the Falcons? OK, so they are coming off a win, which snapped their three-Game skid, but their D is why they won and Matt Ryan has not played near last season when he was MVP and Atlanta ranks a pedestrian 15th in the NFL in ppg. Time is now for the Falcons, who have given up at least 20 points in each of their last Four Games, to get back in the NFC South, as they trail the red-hot New Orleans Saints (5-2) and the Carolina Panthers (5-3).
At 5 dimes sportsbook this Game is a PICK with a total of 43.
The Panthers have been up and down on the season and they had dropped two straight Games before coming up big on D in their last Game beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-3 in their last Game. Cam Newton has also been up and down and while the defense for Carolina ranks a legit 5th in the league in points against per Game the offense has struggled and only put up a total of 20 points in their last two Games.
Last season the Falcons won both of their match ups with the Panthers and this is the first time facing them this season.
Carolina has covered the spread in Four of their last five home Games against Atlanta.
In their last Game in wet and soggy conditions the Falcons beat the New York Jets 25-20 to snap their skid. Ryan was pretty good in the Game, as he passed for 254 yards with two TD and was not picked off with star WR Julio Jones and fellow WR Mohamed Sanu each having 74 receiving yards. Tevin Coleman rushed for 82 yards on an average of 5.9 yards per carry and overall Atlanta had 140 yards on the ground. Ryan and company will face a very balanced Carolina D that ranks 6th in the league in both run defense and pass defense.
In their two wins facing the Panthers last season the Falcons totaled 91 points.
The Panthers got back in the W column after dropping two straight beating the Tampa Bay Bucs 17-3 in their last Game. they had 25 fewer overall yards, but did force three turnovers and in a key stat held Tampa to 2/12 on 3rd down conversions. Newton passed for 154 yards with a TD and a pick and was also the leading rusher with 44 yards. Jonathan Stewart leads the Panthers in rushing, but is dealing with a toe injury and is a question mark in this Game. Carolina is at home, but in their three home Games this season they only have one win while two of the Falcons Four wins on the season have come on the road.
The Falcons are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 road Games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Games overall, and in their last 10 Games facing a team with a winning record the Over record is 8-2.
The Panthers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home Games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Games following a straight up win, and in their last 5 Games after a win the Over record is 3-1-1.
Jason’s Pick: Ok so the Falcons have failed to cover in their last Four Games, but are still the pick in this Game. Ryan will bouNCe back and with how Newton has played as of late he can’t be banked on. The Panthers have failed to cover the spread in their last Four Games at home and look for that trend to continue in this Game, as Atlanta will get the W and get back in the NFC South race.