Thursday Night Football: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Preview, Predictions & Pick

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Josh Widman
Josh graduated from Syracuse University in May 2020 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. He played basketball and baseball in High School. Despite growing up in New Jersey, he roots for the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. He has two favorite sports movies: Dodgeball and Major League. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals is his favorite sporting event of all-time and his favorite sports memory is playing in a white-out basketball game under the lights against a rival summer camp when he was 15 years old.

Division rivals Falcons and Panthers meet for the second time in a month on Thursday Night at Bank of America Stadium.

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Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Betting Lines

  • The O/U is 51 on FOXBet
  • Carolina is -143 on the ML, Atlanta is +120 on FOXBet
  • Carolina is a 3-point favorite on FOXBet

The Falcons continue to find new ways to lose in heartbreaking fashion and it’s kind of impressive. Last week’s entry to the hall of shame featured RB Todd Gurley scoring a TD with just over a minute left instead of Atlanta managing the clock and setting up a game-winning field goal as time expired. It was another game that the Falcons played well enough to win.

On the bright side, the offense has looked better the last two weeks with a healthy WR Julio Jones. Jones did not play in the first matchup between these teams. QB Matt Ryan has completed 75% of his passes and thrown for over 330 yards in back-to-back games. Carolina did limit Ryan to a season-low 226 passing yards three weeks ago. Gurley had his highest output of the season in that matchup with the Panthers. He rushed 14 times for 121 yards with a TD on the ground and through the air. It’s his lone 100-yard game of the season.

The Panthers have been one of the surprises of the season and went toe-to-toe with the Saints last week. The most surprising part of their success this season is the team’s 3-2 record without star RB Christian McCaffrey. RB Mike Davis has filled in admirably, averaging over 88 total yards per game. WR Robby Anderson has emerged as a number-one receiver with three 100-yard games but hasn’t scored since week one. QB Teddy Bridgewater has done his part and has kept the game close at the very least. Carolina’s three wins are by a total of 22 points and three of its four losses have come by one possession.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Key Stats

  • QB Matt Ryan is 16-9 in his career vs Carolina, 6-6 on the road
  • WR Robby Anderson had 8 catches for 112 yards against ATL in week 5
  • ATL has allowed a 100-yard receiver in 5 of 7 games this season

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Predictions

This game should be competitive. The underdog has covered in every TNF game so far.  It’s going to come down to whether Atlanta shows up on both sides of the ball. Julio Jones’ involvement is also crucial. If he is limited or doesn’t play at all, Atlanta’s offense will struggle. If he plays the way he has the past two weeks, the Falcons can win this game outright.

I see this game playing out similarly to the first meeting so I would take the under if you want to bet the points. However, this under is nowhere close to the slam-dunk last week’s New York-Philadelphia one was. After losing the first round with the Panthers, Matt Ryan is 3-1 in the rematch over his career.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers Pick

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