The Carolina Panthers (2-7) host the Atlanta Falcons (4-5) in their second NFC South divisional matchup of the season for "Thursday Night Football."
The Falcons are tied with the Buccaneers for first place in the NFC South despite their losing record, and they will be looking to improve on their 1-2 division record on Thursday. Their only division win came vs. this Panthers team in overtime of Week 8.
Falcons and Panthers Odds
- Moneyline: Falcons (-154) | Panthers (+130)
- Spread: Falcons-4.5 (+120) | Panthers +4.5 (-143)
- Total: 44.5 Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Two weeks ago when these two teams faced off, there was a dramatic buzzer-beating 62-yard touchdown catch by DJ Moore, and P.J. Walker threw for 317 yards. Since then, Walker has passed for nine total yards and was replaced in last week's loss by Baker Mayfield. Despite that, Walker is expected to get the start on Thursday, no doubt partly due to his success just two weeks ago. D'onta Foreman dominated the Atlanta run defense on his way to 116 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and the Panthers put up a season-high 34 points. On the season, Carolina is averaging only 19.9 points per game, while allowing 25.3. They have covered only three games this season, though they have won two outright as the underdogs.
The Falcons have continued to exceed expectations, covering the spread in six of eight games this season and winning the only game in which they were favored. Their offense has been a pleasant surprise averaging 24.8 points per game (tied for eighth with the Minnesota Vikings), while their defense has been especially suspect, allowing a league-leading 211.5 yards per game to opposing receivers along with 25 points per game. Atlanta gained back one of their most important weapons in Cordarelle Patterson last weekend, and he immediately scored two touchdowns in their narrow loss to the Chargers. The last time these two teams matched up, Caleb Huntley and Tyler Allgeier combined for 140 yards and a touchdown. Patterson should be heavily involved in this matchup, and that gives Atlanta a distinct edge.
The over has hit in 55.6 percent of the Falcons' games this season, while it’s only hit in 44.4 percent of the Panthers'. However, the last time these two matched up, the game total went all the way up to 72.
Do I think we are going to get the same shootout we saw in Week 8? Doubtful, but both defenses can be beaten and that should add up to points. I’ll take the over and root for points on Thursday night.
The Pick: Over 44.5