Falcons vs. Panthers Total Prediction
NFC South rivals with nothing to play for will meet on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET in Charlotte where the Carolina Panthers will host the Atlanta Falcons. With Cam Newton out, will the game turn into a defensive struggle?
105 Atlanta Falcons at 106 Carolina Panthers
1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, December 23
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Panthers are 3-point favorites to beat the Falcons. The total, meanwhile, sits at 43.5 points. As of this writing, 58% of the public betting tickets are on the Falcons to cover the point spread.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Julio Jones (hip) will participate in a walk-through but will not practice Thursday. Quinn said this was the plan heading into the week. Jones participating in the walk-through is a positive because it suggests the Falcons expect him to play against the Panthers. Even so, he will need to practice Friday to have a real shot to play this week.
Updating an earlier report, Christian McCaffrey's absence from Thursday's practice was for rest purposes. McCaffrey was mysteriously absent from Thursday's practice, but apparently, he was just getting a breather. Already the franchise record holder for most yards from scrimmage in a single season, McCaffrey should mash against the Falcons' non-existent defense on Sunday. He's our No. 2 running back play this week.
NFL Betting Trends
The Falcons are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games overall and 1-6 against the number in their last seven road games.
The Panthers are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games overall and just 1-4 ATS in their last five games coming off a loss.
The under is 16-5-2 in the last 23 meetings between these two teams in Charlotte and 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings overall. Without Newton, the Panthers will likely keep the ball in the hands of McCaffrey but the Falcons are coming off their best defensive performance of the season (40-14 win over the Cardinals). Granted, it was just Arizona but the Falcons harassed rookie Josh Rosen all game and shut down David Johnson. I doubt Atlanta moves on from coach Dan Quinn but if he finds a way to lose to Taylor Heinicke, things could change in a hurry. I expect another inspired defensive performance from the Falcons on Sunday.
NFL Week 16 Prediction: Falcons/Panthers under 43.5