Falcons vs. Panthers Spread Prediction
Are the Atlanta Falcons laying too many points to their NFC South rivals the Carolina Panthers on Sunday? Bettors are hopping on Cam Newton’s bandwagon for this week and it’s easy to see why given the Falcons’ defensive issues.
1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, September 16
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Falcons are 6-point favorites to beat the Panthers. The total, meanwhile, sits at 44 points. As of this writing, 61% of the public betting tickets are on the Panthers to cover the point spread.
Panthers RG Trai Turner (concussion) is out for Week 2 against the Falcons. The Panthers' offensive line is a total mess after it lost LT Matt Kalil (knee) in the preseason and RT Daryl Williams (knee) again in Week 1. Beat writer Joe Person expects the line to be LT Chris Clark (who was signed on Wednesday), LG Greg Van Roten, C Ryan Kalil, RG Amini Silatolu, and RT Taylor Moton.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Devonta Freeman (knee) is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Freeman was ruled out for Sunday, but he's going to miss at least another week. The silver lining is Freeman only has a contusion and isn't dealing with structural damage. Tevin Coleman will start until Freeman returns, with Ito Smith playing a short-yardage role. Freeman has knee issues dating back to last year, so this has potential to be a lingering concern.
NFL Betting Trends
The Panthers are 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 road games but are just 4-9 against the number in their last 13 contests versus the rest of the NFC South.
The Falcons are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games and 7-3 against the number in their last 10 games played in the month of September.
I faded the Falcons a week ago in their season opener in Philly and I’ll do so again today. While the Panthers are missing several pieces on offense, the Falcons are down their two best defensive players in linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal. If Carolina establishes the run, the Panthers should dominant time of possession while working against this light Atlanta front seven. Plus, it’s not as if the Panthers don’t have the defensive pieces to stymie Steve Sarkisian’s offense. Sark had a brutal game a week ago in Philly and considering he didn’t learn anything in the seven months between 2017 and the 2018 season, I doubt he’ll have everything fixed in a week. Take the points.
NFL Week 2 Prediction: Carolina Panthers +6