A pair of NFC South Division rivals are set to collide for the first time this season as part of Sunday’s early-afternoon NFL slate. The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons are certainly no strangers to facing one another. However, the two teams enter this Week 8 matchup trending in opposite directions. Oddsmakers have sided with the hotter team in recent weeks. The hosts are a short NFL betting favorite ahead of this divisional showdown.
Panthers vs Falcons Week 8 NFL Betting Preview
NFL Regular Season — Week 8 Game
Carolina Panthers (3-4, 1-2 Away) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-3, 1-2 Home)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Venue: Mercedes Benz Stadium — Atlanta, GA
Coverage: Click here for the stream
Carolina Panthers Preview
After starting the season off 3-0, the Panthers enter Sunday’s NFL betting matchup having lost four straight. Matt Rhule and Sam Darnold were the talk of the league after the hot start. Since then, Carolina has come crashing back down to earth offensively. In fact, Darnold was so bad in an embarrassing 22-point loss to the New York Giants last week that he was benched in the fourth quarter. Needless to say, it wasn’t a pretty return to MetLife Stadium for the former New York Jets signal-caller. The Panthers have also realized just how important Christian McCaffrey is to this offense in recent weeks. While Mike Davis was able to fill in admirably for him last season, rookie Chuba Hubbard has not fared nearly as well.
Much like Carolina’s offense, the defense has also regressed mightily over the last few weeks. The Panthers held down the top in Football Outsiders’ adjusted defensive efficiency rankings through the first three weeks. Since then, they have slipped down to 11th. The Panthers have particularly struggled at stopping the run. Even without Saquon Barkley, the Giants easily surpassed 100 yards on the ground last week. The unit will look to turn the tide on Sunday against one of the more unpredictable offenses in the league.
Atlanta Falcons Preview
Just when it looked like the Falcons were headed for a lost season and top-five pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, Matt Ryan decided to start throwing the ball to rookie tight end, Kyle Pitts. Of course, he really had no choice three weeks ago across the pond in an NFL betting game that saw Atlanta without star receiver, Calvin Ridley. The trend continued on the road last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Pitts exploded for 163 yards receiving on seven receptions. Ryan finished with over 330 yards and two scores through the air. The win marked the third in four games for the Falcons and evened their record at .500 on the season.
Many NFL betting analysts were excited about the prospects of the aforementioned Mike Davis operating as the lead back in Atlanta this season. However, as last week showed, that has hardly been the case. While Davis saw just four carries, Cordarrelle Patterson had 14 and scored a touchdown in the win. From out of nowhere, the veteran Patterson has been posting big numbers on a weekly basis. While the Falcons defense remains one of the worst in the league, they do have pass-rushers capable of flustering Darnold in Sunday’s matchup.
Panthers vs Falcons Odds and Spread
Moneyline: CAR: (+145) | ATL: (-165)
Spread: CAR: +3 (-105) | ATL: -3 (-115)
Total: 47 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Public (Spread) Betting via Action Network: CAR: (42%) | ATL: (58%)
Panthers vs Falcons NFL Betting Trends
- Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
- Eight of the Panthers’ last ten games have gone under the total.
- Falcons are just 1-4 SU in their last five home games.
- The total has gone over in four of the Falcons’ last five games.
- Falcons are 6-1 both SU and ATS in their last seven head-to-head matchups against the Panthers.
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Panthers vs Falcons Stats
- Carolina is averaging 20.9 points per game (PPG) this season (T-No. 22 in the NFL).
- Carolina is surrendering 20.9 PPG this season (T-No. 7 in the NFL).
- Atlanta is averaging 22.5 PPG this season (T-No. 19 in the NFL).
- Atlanta is surrendering 29.3 PPG this season (No. 30 in the NFL).
Panthers vs Falcons Prediction
The Panthers vs Falcons NFL betting prediction uses the ESPN Football Power Index.