Panthers open as road favorites in Week 16

Unbeaten Panthers open as 6.5-point road favorites at Falcons in Week 16

With a 16-0 season still a possibility after surviving in East Rutherford on Sunday, the Panthers will be a sizable road favorite in Week 16.

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After blowing a 35-7 third-quarter lead at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, the Panthers beat the Giants 38-35 on a Graham Gano last-second field goal. MVP candidate Cam Newton competed 25-of-45 passes for 340 yards and five touchdowns in the victory, while also adding eight rushes for 100 additional yards. It was his third five-touchdown performance in five games.

The only teams standing in Carolina's way of going 16-0 are the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. According to oddsmakers from online sports book, the Panthers have opened as a 6.5-point road favorite in Atlanta on Sunday. At some books in Las Vegas, the number has already climbed to Carolina -7.

Two weeks ago the Panthers crushed the Falcons 38-0 in Charlotte and also routed Atlanta 34-3 at the Georgia Dome in Week 17 last season to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

The Falcons still have fait postseason hopes this year and will need to win their final two games, plus have the Vikings and Seahawks lose out to clinch a playoff spot. It's unlikely that will happen, but perhaps they'll be motivated enough to hand Carolina its first loss after what the Panthers have done to them in the past two meetings.

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