The team every NFL fan loves and every opposing defense hates is two wins away from a perfect season. This week the 14-0 Carolina Panthers face the 7-7 Atlanta Falcons in an NFC South rivalry tilt. The game kicks off on FOX this Sunday, December 27th at 1:00 PM ET.
After this game in Atlanta, Carolina hosts Tampa Bay to finish the schedule. All three previous NFL teams to reach 14-0 — Miami in 1972, New England in 2007 and Indianapolis in 2009 — made the Super Bowl. Only the Dolphins won the championship, though.
A Closer Look At How To Bet The Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons NFL Week 16 Line, Final Score Prediction & Expert Pick
The NFL week 16 betting line favors the Panthers by a touchdown on the road to beat the Falcons. If you are betting the game straight up then the Carolina is paying 100 on 300 while Atlanta is playing 250 on 100. The game total is 47.
The Panthers 18 straight wins dating to last season match the third-longest string in NFL history.
Carolina was won five of their last six meetings outright and going 6-1 against the spread over the last seven matchups against the Falcons.
What: Carolina Panthers (14-0) at Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
When: Sunday, December 27, 2015
Kickoff: 1:00 PM ET
Where: Atlanta, GA
Stadium: Georgia Dome
Spread: Panthers -7
Moneyline: Carolina -300 vs Atlanta +250
Game Total: 47
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Carolina vs Atlanta
Why Bet The Carolina Panthers Line At -7 Over The Falcons
The Carolina Panthers are 14-0 straight up and 10-4 against the spread this season. They average 32.1 points (1st), 230.1 passing yards (23rd), and 144.0 rushing yards (3rd) per game. Last week, they squeaked past the Giants by a 38-35 score after building a 28-point lead in the second half.
QB Cam Newton (3402 yards, 33 TDs & 10 INTs) has all but sewn up the race for league MVP. How gaudy are his stats? Over the last six weeks, he has thrown 19 touchdowns and just one interception. That includes his five TDs against the Giants last week. That game marked the third time in five weeks that Newton has thrown for for 340 yards and had five touchdown passes.
“These last two games are division opponents, and we’ll be in a hostile environment in Atlanta,” Newton said. “And we’ve got a tricky week with Christmas. We just have to find a way to keep moving ahead and make sure we stay on the side of the pendulum.”
After the pre-season loss of highly touted WR Kelvin Benjamin for the season, TE Greg Olsen (71 rec, 1048 yards, 7 TDs) and WR Ted Ginn Jr. (43 rec,730 yards, 10 TDs) have been spectacular in the passing game. Last week, Ginn Jr. caught 15 passes for 85 yards and two scores against the Giants.
RB Jonathan Stewart (242 att, 989 yards, 6 TDs) didn’t play last week against the Giants due to a foot injury and questionable to face the Falcons. Unknown rusher Cameron Artis-Payne (26 att, 90 yards, O TDs) will likely get the start after running 59 yards on 14 carries against New York.
Carolina’s defense allows 19.9 points (10th), 225.0 passing yards (5th) and 90.1 rushing yards per game. Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis have combined for 198 tackles this season and Josh Norman has 16 deflected passes and four interceptions.
Why Bet The Atlanta Falcons Line At +7 Over the Panthers
The Atlanta Falcons are 7-7 straight up and 5-9 against the spread this season. They average 21.6 points (19th), 268.3 passing yards (7th), and 103.0 rushing yards (17th) per game. Last week, they snapped a six-game skid by slipping past the suddenly average Jacksonville Jaguars by a 23-17 score.
Despite the win, QB Matt Ryan (2951 yards, 18 TDs & 15 INTs) struggles continue. The Falcons started the season 5-0 with the league’s deadliest passing and rushing attack with Juilo Jones and Devonta Freeman wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. Since then the Falcons have lost seven of eight and blown several late leads.
“It’s very difficult not to allow doubt to happen when we haven’t had success the last couple of weeks or the last two months,” Ryan said. “But I didn’t feel that from anybody today. The reason you are so proud and you’re so pumped up for the other guys is we know how easy it is to doubt yourself in those situations.”
Earlier this week, Jones (118 rec, 1544 yards, 7 TDs) was selected to his 3rd Pro Bowl while Freeman (218 att, 907 yards, 10 TDs) makes his first Pro Bowl. Jones leads NFL with 118 receptions while Freeman tied for fourth in league with 12 touchdowns. Freeman led the league in touchdowns for most of the season and is now tied for fourth with 12 after being slowed by injury. Freeman is 93 rushing yards away from 1,000 for the season.
Atlanta’s defense allows 22.3 (14th), 246.0 passing yards (20th) and 103.2 rushing yards (14th) per game. Paul Worrilow has 86 tackles, and Robert Alford has 12 deflected passes.
Betting Trends & Stats Related To This Matchup:
The Panthers have been better against the spread going 18-13, +370. The Falcons are 12-17, -670 ATS. In head-to-head matchups, Carolina is 2-0 ATS. Head-to-head matchups have skewed under (3 under, 0 over).
- 11/16/2014: Atlanta won 19 to 17, Game was a push ATS, Game came under 47
- 12/28/2014: Carolina won 34 to 3, Carolina covered +3, Game came under 48
- 12/13/2015: Carolina won 38 to 0, Carolina covered -8.5, Game came under 45.5
- The Panthers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games.
- The Falcons are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games.
- The Falcons are 0-5 straight up and ATS in their last five games against their division.
Expert ATS Pick & Final Score Prediction:
This is a no-brainer. After last week’s close call in New Jersey at the hands of the Giants, the Panthers will be on alert. They want to go un-defeated and the Falcons won’t stop them.
Bet the Panthers against the spread at -7.