It’s an NFC South Division showdown on Thursday Night Football this week as the Atlanta Falcons travel north to take on the Carolina Panthers. Both teams are below the .500-mark and looking for a mid-season boost to remain alive in the NFC playoff picture. With both teams bringing explosive offenses to the table, you might be surprised to find out that games between the Falcons and Panthers in recent years have been relatively low scoring. The NFL odds and expert NFL picks have shifted to reflect this on the game total while also offering a slight edge to the home team on the spread.
This betting preview contains the NFL odds, key betting trends, prop bets and best NFL picks for Falcons vs Panthers on Thursday Night.
NFL Odds, NFL Picks, and NFL Props | Falcons vs Panthers
Falcons vs Panthers Game Info
Atlanta Falcons (1-6, 1-2 Away) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-4, 1-2 Home)
Date: Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020
Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
Venue: Bank of America Stadium — Charlotte, NC
Coverage: FOX, NFL Network
Attendance: Approximately 5,500 fans will be allowed to attend.
Falcons vs Panthers NFL Odds
All odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Opening Lines: Panthers -3; O/U 49.5
Moneyline: ATL: (+120) | CAR: (-140)
Spread: ATL: +3 (-120) | CAR: -3 (+100)
Total: 49.5 — Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)
Falcons vs Panthers Overview
To the dismay of their fans and supporters at the betting window and the humor of anyone else who follows the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons just keep finding new ways to lose football games. From the epic second half Super Bowl collapse a few years back to not knowing the onside kick rules earlier this year, the brutal beats just continue to pile up. This past Sunday, rather than sitting on the lead and draining the clock, the Falcons scored a touchdown, gave the Detroit Lions life, and watched as the defense let Matthew Stafford go down the field in a minute’s time to score for the win.
It’s completely understandable why the NFL odds and bettors find it hard to trust Atlanta right now. On the flip side, it is worth noting that the Falcons were that close to going 2-0 since Raheem Morris took over for the fired Dan Quinn. At 1-6, the Falcons instead limp into their second meeting with Carolina this season with more questions than answers. Julio Jones is rumored to be on the trading block. The defense has looked better in recent weeks but still far from intimidating. For how many playmakers Atlanta has on offense, it is truly astonishing that the team has such a poor record.
Carolina comes into this Thursday Night contest on their second two-game slide of the season. A three-game winning streak sandwiched in between has the Panthers still very much alive in the hunt for the playoffs and drawing the favor of the NFL odds and expert NFL picks. Matt Rhule’s team remains ahead of schedule in what figured to be an average campaign at best while the rebuild continued. Carolina came very close to knocking off the Saints on the road this past weekend. Teddy Bridgewater is leading the offense much better than expected, and there are rumblings that star running back Christian McCaffrey may be healthy enough to rejoin the team this week. Along with Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, the Panthers have far too many weapons for Atlanta to cover everyone.
The primary concern for Carolina in this game is whether or not the defense can hold up. With an arsenal of pass-catchers at his disposal, it’s clear Matt Ryan and the Falcons aerial attack are a force to be reckoned with. Todd Gurley is also capable of gashing teams on the ground. In the first meeting against the Panthers’ 28th ranked run defense (per Football Outsiders adjusted efficiency), Gurley piled up 121 yards and a score on just 14 carries (8.6 YPC).
Falcons vs Panthers Betting Trends
- Falcons 2020 Betting Trends: 2-5 ATS; 4-3 to the Over
- Panthers 2020 Betting Trends: 4-3 ATS; 3-4 to the Over
- The Falcons are 8-2 both straight up and ATS in the last ten head-to-head meetings against the Panthers.
- The outright winner has also covered the spread in each of the last 12 head-to-head meetings between the Falcons and Panthers.
- The Under has cashed in five of the last seven (and 11 of the last 15) head-to-head meetings between the Falcons and Panthers.
Falcons vs Panthers Stats
- Atlanta has averaged 26.3 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 13 in the NFL)
- Atlanta has surrendered 29.6 PPG this season (No. 26 in the NFL)
- Carolina has averaged 23.1 PPG this season (No. 25 in the NFL)
- Carolina has surrendered 24.0 PPG this season (No. 13 in the NFL)
Monkey Knife Fight NFL Props
Monkey Knife Fight is a DFS site unlike DraftKings or FanDuel. Instead, the contests feature props to play, with varying multipliers for each contest. Unlike the aforementioned sites, you are only competing with yourself on MKF, and you do not need to worry about annoying salary caps.
Monkey Knife Fight has several great NFL props for both this Thursday Night Football showdown and the entire Week 8 slate. Here is one of my favorites for the Falcons vs Panthers game.
Todd Gurley to have more rushing yards than Mike Davis feels like a layup given that Christian McCaffrey is trending towards a return for the Panthers. This figures to significantly reduce Mike Davis’ workload. With stopping the run being Carolina’s weakness defensively, this also leads me to side with Gurley. If the Falcons are finding success running the football, this could take some of the onus off of Matt Ryan. Catching 6.5 yards with Teddy Bridgewater, I like him in this passing yards matchup. Bridgewater had 87 more yards than Ryan in the first meeting between the teams this year. Finally, with Julio Jones battling a hip injury, I will take the healthier of the two stud Falcons receivers catching 1.5 yards as a bonus. Jones was sidelined for the first meeting between the teams and Ridley still had 136 yards receiving as the top option.
Picking all three matchups correctly would net you 6x your buy-in.
Falcons vs Panthers NFL Picks and NFL Odds
The spread for this game has experienced limited NFL odds movement, jumping back and forth between the opening line of 2.5 and an even three points in Carolina’s favor. Oddly enough, despite the division rivalry factor, eight of the last eleven meetings between the teams have been decided by double digits. A total of 49.5 suggests that a fair amount of points will be scored in this game by both sides, falling in line with how I handicap these offenses relative to the defenses. I see this game exceeding the 39 total points scored the first time these teams played this season.
The Falcons have owned this series in recent years with eight wins in the last ten meetings both straight up and ATS. I know Atlanta has found every possible way known to man to lose football games of late, but I would argue that is aiding in creating value on the road team in this spot. It was just two weeks ago that the Falcons were laying a similar number to the Panthers at home. As good as Carolina has looked this season, you still can’t discount the weapons Atlanta brings to the table. With that, I’m holding my nose and backing the Falcons. Note that the juice and spread vary greatly at different sportsbooks. Shop around for the best value you can get.
Pick: Falcons +3 (-120 at Bovada Sportsbook)