NFL Week 9 Pick: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, September 7, 2017 9:24 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 7, 2017 9:24 PM UTC

The Falcons and Panthers of course are the past two Super Bowl losers as they face off in Charlotte for the first time this season on Sunday. Survivor Pick: Carolina.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-2, 44)

This game not only features the past two NFC champions but also the previous two NFL MVPs in Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Carolina’s Cam Newton. The two teams will close the regular season against one another in Atlanta. Last year, the Falcons swept the Panthers, winning each by double digits. The game in Charlotte was 33-16. Ryan threw for 277 yards and two scores. Tevin Coleman had 134 yards from scrimmage, including a 55-yard TD run. Newton was 18 of 43 for 198 yards with a touchdown pass and two interceptions. Atlanta snapped a three-game losing streak in Week 8 but didn’t look great in a 25-20 victory at the Jets in a monsoon. Lose that game, and the Falcons’ season is probably over. Ryan threw for two scores. Carolina snapped a two-game skid with a 17-3 win in Tampa. Newton threw for 154 yards and one touchdown and Carolina's defense didn't allow a TD for the second straight week. The Panthers stunningly traded top WR Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo on Tuesday for draft picks. 

  • Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Carolina.
  • Falcons are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Free NFL Pick: Panthers -2Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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I doubt that Sunday’s win at the Jets took much heat of Atlanta offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.  The Falcons still turned the ball over twice. Improvement in the red zone and third down offensively were the emphasis heading into the game. The numbers weren’t great in that regard as the Falcons went 5-for-14 on third down and 2-for-6 in the red zone. Star running back Devonta Freeman left in the fourth quarter due to a shoulder surgery but should play against the Panthers. Carolina’s defense has been excellent most of the season. It moved up a spot to second in total defense with Sunday’s win over the Bucs in holding an opponent without a touchdown for the fourth time in eight games. The Panthers moved up two spots to ninth in scoring defense, allowing 17.8 points a game, and maintained their spot at second in the NFL in sacks with 27. The Panthers are blitzing 41.1 percent of the time on dropbacks under new DC Steve Wilks, which is a huge jump from under former DC Sean McDermott.

  • Over is 5-0-1 in Falcons last 6 vs. NFC South.
  • Over is 6-2-1 in Panthers last 9 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
Free NFL Pick: Over 44Best Line Offered: JustBet

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