We look ahead to Thursday Night’s NFC South showdown between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers and serve up choice NFL betting tips and picks.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Thursday, October 29, 2020 – 8:20 PM ET at Bank of America Stadium
Opening NFL Odds and Lines
The Atlanta Falcons enter Thursday’s primetime football showdown with the Carolina Panthers as the 3-point underdogs on the road. This marks only the third game of the season in which the Falcons are at the disadvantage.
Meanwhile, the total opened on 51.5 points, but since markets went to press with week 8 NFL lines and odds, the total has dropped across the board. Currently, it ranges anywhere from 50.5 to 51 points.
Depending on which way NFL bettors are looking to slice this matchup for their picks, it’s clear that shopping around the NFL Odds is the smart thing to do because a half-a-point or a point here or there could mean the difference between a winning and losing bet.
Atlanta Falcons Revert Back To Losing Ways
The Atlanta Falcons continue to find different ways to lose. Last Sunday, they managed to bottle it spectacularly. Todd Gurley’s poor decision-making at the tail-end of the game prevented the Falcons from running out the clock and kicking a field goal to seal the deal.
Instead, they allowed the Lions one last crack at victory with a minute left on the clock. Tale told, they took it, dealing the Falcons their sixth loss on the season behind a narrow 22-21 victory.
It’s a sad state of affairs. The Atlanta Falcons were coming off their first win of the season in Week 6, a 40-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Looking to build on that lone positive result, in interim head coach Raheem Mostert’s second start at the helm, the Falcons started brightly. It was a back-and-forth contest, but the Falcons looked to be in control and well on their way to clinching a second-straight victory until they weren’t.
Instead, it marked another instance of Atlanta’s perplexing inability to finish games strong, and it was another loss for the Falcons in a season that looks to be – let’s face it – all but done.
As it is, the Falcons prop up the NFC South division. They have been outscored 184 to 207 over seven games for a minus 23-point differential. They’re 1-6-0 SU and 2-5-0 ATS with a 3.3 losing margin on average and a minus 2.6 differential versus the spread. The OVER has cashed in four of Atlanta’s 7 games.
Carolina Panthers Fall To Second Straight Loss
The Carolina Panthers are riding a back-to-back losing streak into Week 8, losses to the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints have set back Matt Rhule’s side and see the Panthers slip to under .500 for the second time this season.
The Panthers opened 2020 with a two-game losing streak before turning things around behind a three-game winning streak that included wins over the Chargers, Cardinals, and Falcons. It marked the first time this term that the Panthers improved to above .500. However, since then, the Panthers have lost to the Bears (23-16) and the Saints (27-24).
The Panthers gave the Saints a run for their money on Sunday, in a game that was a bit of a home-coming for Teddy Bridgewater, who played with the Saints last season as Drew Brees’ backup and enjoyed a positive stint as the veteran starter’s replacement early in 2019. However. Bridgewater and Co. came up short at the Superdome in a narrow loss. That said, the Panthers did pull off the cover as the closing 7-point underdogs.
Overall, the Carolina Panthers are 3-4-0 SU and 4-3-0 ATS with a 0.9 losing margin on average and plus 2.0 differential versus the spread. In their last four games, the Panthers are 4-1-0 ATS. The UNDER has cashed at the best betting sites in four of Carolina’s 7 games. As well, the Panthers have been outscored 162 to 168 over seven games, for a minus 6-point differential
NFL Betting Verdict
This marks the second meeting between the Falcons and Panthers this season. In Week 5, the Panthers took the 23-16 win over the Falcons on the road – it marked former head coach Dan Quinn’s last game on the job.
The Falcons offense continues to be a potent force to reckon with. Matt Ryan had another statistically solid game and threw for more than 300 yards. Todd Gurley had a good showing and ran for two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the second touchdown proved to be costly, as it left too much time on the clock for a talented quarterback like Matthew Stafford to capitalize on.
The main issue with the Falcons this season is repeated late-game collapses. Unless they can somehow overcome the lack of composure late in a game, it’s hard to see how they’ll win many more games.
Teddy Bridgewater had a solid showing against the Saints, putting in an error-free account and completing 23 of his 28 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. The run game has suffered for the Panthers since Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury early in September. Although they did manage to win a few games without him, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the Panthers’ offense is missing the star running back.
There’s a chance McCaffrey might return this Thursday, which is something to pay close attention to, as it would certainly give Carolina’s offense another wrinkle.
All told, both teams have had their fair share of setbacks this season, but the Falcons have had more than most in the league – with the exception of the NY Jets. While the Carolina Panthers are far from a sure bet, they do strike a more convincing pose as the home chalk for this rematch. As such, they’re the choice NFL pick to come through in Thursday night’s football showdown.