Carolina at Atlanta NFL Betting Odds & Preview
The undefeated Carolina Panthers (14-0) head to Atlanta (7-7) in a Week 16 NFL betting, NFC South divisional matchup. The Panthers are favored by 7.5 points, and the over/under total is 47.5 points. The Panthers routed Atlanta two weeks ago, and the Panthers may have had their wake-up call when they blew a 35-7 lead against the New York Giants and had to scramble late to win, 38-35.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 23, 2015
Should you take the Panthers (-7.5)?
Carolina is likely to have plenty of motivation on the field this week. Last week’s game against the Giants saw an ugly second half, as the Panthers appeared to be coasting on both sides of the ball. It didn’t help that cornerback Josh Norman got drawn into an extended battle with Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Beckham was suspended for Week 16 because of his three personal fouls, but Norman picked up a $26,044 penalty for his own misdeeds. Also, the Panthers no longer get to carry their inflatable bat on the sideline, because Beckham used it as an excuse for his anger before the game. Given that the Panthers have Atlanta this week and Tampa Bay next week, getting to 16-0 is quite doable — and Carolina appears to be more than motivated.
Why should you pick the Falcons (+7.5)?
Last week saw the Falcons finally win after losing six in a row. This was a team that had been 5-0 — and was embarrassed two weeks ago up in Carolina, 38-0. However, last week against the Jaguars, some of the Falcons’ key players came back to life. Julio Jones broke the team record for receptions in a season (118 so far) and caught his first touchdown pass in seven weeks. The Falcons could even take a wild card spot if they keep winning and the Vikings and Seahawks both lose their last two games. So there is some motivation for the Falcons to play the Panthers tougher on their home field this week.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Panthers have shown no signs of being anything other than a juggernaut, except for the second half last week. The Falcons don’t have someone like Beckham to turn the game into a sideshow, and you can bet the Panthers won’t fall asleep again. I like them to beat the Falcons 30-14.