The Carolina Panthers will get a chance to avenge their only loss last season when they face the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Sunday. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 PM. ET.
Let’s get into the odds for this game and then I’ll break it down and give my takes.
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Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons Betting Lines
Here are the betting lines from Bovada.lv.
- Carolina Panthers -3
- Atlanta Falcons +3
- Over/Under 50.5
The Panthers are coming into this game with a 1-2 record, after two disappointing losses against the Denver Broncos in the season opener, and the Minnesota Vikings last week. They will be trying to get back on track against their divisional rivals, but it won’t be an easy game for the defending NFC South champions.
Despite having a losing record last year, the Falcons showed they are capable of hanging with the best in the league after handing the Panthers their first and only loss of the season. This year, the Falcons are 2-1, and are coming off a win against the New Orleans Saints and their explosive offense, which should give them some confidence heading into their matchup with Carolina.
For the Panthers, the biggest reason for their struggles this year is their pass protection, which hasn’t been anywhere as good as it was last year. Against the Denver Broncos, Newton took several shots to the head from defenders that were able to beat his offensive linemen.
Against the Vikings, Newton was sacked 8 times and threw two interceptions as a result of the pressure he faced all day.
The Atlanta Falcons don’t have the personnel to bring the same amount of pressure the Broncos and Vikings did against Newton, but the team has an offense that can keep up with the best in the league when they are playing well.
Quarterback Matt Ryan has done a great job leading the offense so far. The former number one overall pick has thrown for 970 yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception in three games, leading the team to two tough road wins.
Even though the Falcons have looked like the best team in the division after three games, they aren’t trying to get too far ahead of themselves because they started last season winning six of their first seven games, before a stretch of six straight losses, which cost them a chance of making the playoffs.
The Panthers offense was the most explosive and top scoring offense in the NFL last year, but they haven’t looked as good this year despite the return of Kelvin Benjamin, who missed all of last season with an injury.
The only game their offense looked as good was against the San Francisco 49ers, who are one of the worst teams in the league. The team knows it has to play better this week if they want to avoid starting the season 1-3, which will hurt their playoff chances in what appears to be a tough division this year.
The Panthers are very talented but haven’t been able to get their offense in gear. Since this is a rivalry game and the Falcons are trying to prove they are a legitimate contender, I’m picking Atlanta to cover the spread.
Play: Falcons +3 @ Bovada.lv