Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons – Week 14 NFL Betting Analysis
Carolina Panthers (5-7 6-6 ATS) at Atlanta Falcons (3-9 4-8 ATS)
The Panthers recently fired their head coach Ron Rivera and the team heads to Atlanta to take on the Falcons as a 3-point underdog. The total for this NFC South matchup sits at 47.5.
The public has backed the Falcons in this game, as they opened as a 1.5-point favorite and as of Wednesday are a 3-point favorite.
The Panthers have lost four in a row and the 2nd loss in that span was a 29-3 loss to the Falcons. The nail in Rivera’s coffin had to be the last game, which was a 29-21 home loss to the Washington Redskins, who came into the game with two wins.
The Falcons have to one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season and after winning two in a row they have lost their last two games. In the two recent wins, they only gave up 12 points while in the last two losses they gave up 62 points.
While Matt Ryan leads the Falcons and their 2nd ranked passing offense he has been sacked a ton this season and the run game only ranks 30th in rushing yards per game.
The Falcons have covered the spread in their last four games against the Panthers.
Not the Best Run Defense
In the Panthers pretty shocking loss to the Redskins in their last game, where they were a 10.5-point favorite, their run defense was shredded giving up 248 yards.
Christian McCaffery was once an MVP candidate but no longer. He has had a great season and has 127 receiving yards in his last two games but in those games he only rushed for 44 and 64 yards, respectively, failing to average over 3.1 yards per carry in each.
Kyle Allen blew out of the gates this season after Cam Newton went down but then cooled off. He does have five TD and only one INT in his last two games but in two of his last three games, he has a QBR less than 15.00. His worst game of the season came against the Falcons in the blowout loss where he passed for 325 yards but had no TD and was picked off four times.
Atlanta’s defense has not looked good in the last couple of games and on the season they only rank 26th in the league against the pass and 17th against the run.
Not hard to see why the Falcons only have three wins ranking 30th out of 32 teams in rushing yards game, Matt Ryan has been sacked 38 times, and the pass rush ranks 2nd to last in the NFL with 18 sacks.
Ryan has put up good passing numbers but is only in the middle of the pack in QBR and in his last two games he has three INT and has been sacked 15 times. Yes, that is not a typo 15 times and was taken down nine times in the last game, which was a 26-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Matty Ice played in the win over the Panthers a few weeks back with 311 passing yards and a TD with no picks, but the defense was the main reason for the win.
Atlanta’s lead rusher in Devonta Freeman has only rushed for 422 yards with no TD and is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry. He came back in the last game facing the Saints after missing some games due to injury and rushed for 51 yards averaging three yards per carry.
Carolina ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of pass defense, but their run defense only ranks 29th. Can Atlanta take advantage of that? Freeman did not play against the Panthers and he may get his chance in this game facing a Panthers’ run D that was torched in their last game.
Not only have the Falcons covered in their last four games facing the Panthers but they are 16-5-2 ATS in their last 23 games facing them at home.
The Panthers have lost four straight and their head coach go fired after the last loss. The wheels have fallen off for them and they were beaten badly at home by the Falcons this season. Look for Ryan to have a good game and, for a change, Atlanta will have a decent run game and they will win this NFC South matchup and cover the spread sending the reeling Panthers to their 5th straight loss.
PICK: Falcons -3