While calling this an elimination game in the NFC playoff race might be a tad bit premature, it is close to that. Eight teams have better records than both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers so it is getting close to put up or shut time for the NFC South rivals.
One reason to tune in is to check out rookie tight end Kyle Pitts who has at least four catches in four of the last five games for Atlanta although he doesn’t have a touchdown over that span. He has fallen off the radar in the Rookie of the Year race but is still a difference-maker.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton (+8000) is tied for the seventh-best odds for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Atlanta Falcons are 4-2 on the road and have covered against the Las Vegas odds in four of its last five road games.
There shouldn’t be any weather issues with temperatures in the 50s and almost no chance of rain at kickoff.
- Game: Atlanta Falcons (5-7) vs Carolina Panthers (5-7)
- Location: Bank of America Stadium
- Day/Time: Sunday, Dec. 12, 1 p.m. ET
- Television: FOX
Falcons vs Panthers Betting Lines
The Atlanta Falcons were three-point favorites against the visiting Carolina Panthers according to the NFL picks against the spread when the NFC South Division rivals played on Oct. 31.
Atlanta led for most of the first half but the fourth field goal of the game by Carolina kicker Zane Gonzalez gave Carolina its first lead with 3:33 left in the third quarter. A Chuba Hubbard touchdown run with 6:30 left pushed the lead to nine. A field goal brought Atlanta within six points with 16 seconds to play but Carolina held on for the 19-13 win.
The game did not approach the 46½-point total as it was the third straight game between the teams to finish under the total.
Next game: at San Francisco
The Atlanta Falcons were listed by the scores and odds as 11-point underdogs against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay never trailed but it was only a three-point game at halftime. Rob Gronkowski caught his second touchdown pass late in the third quarter and a fourth-quarter field goal by Tampa Bay allowed the Buccaneers to cover.
The 30-17 game went under the 51-point total and it was the fourth straight game involving the Falcons to go under the total.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (knee), safety Richie Grant (ankle), tight end Hayden Hurst, cornerback Fabian Moreau, linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji (ankle) are questionable. The Falcons designated Hurst to return to practice.
We have made the following roster moves:
– Signed DB Cornell Armstrong to the practice squad.
– Designated Hayden Hurst to return to practice.
– Released Chris Williamson and Rick Leonard from the practice squad.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 7, 2021
Next game: at Buffalo
The Carolina Panthers were listed by the NFL odds and lines as 1½-point favorites against the visiting Miami Dolphins
Newton’s touchdown run tied the game in the first half and then Miami scored 26 of the final 29 points to run away with the 33-10 win.
It was Carolina’s third loss in the last four games and the Panthers failed to cover in each of the losses.
A field goal with 3:41 remaining put the game over the 40½-point total. It was the third straight Carolina game to go over the total.
Offensive linemen Cameron Erving (calf), Michael Jordan (hamstring) and John Miller (ankle), cornerbacks Jaycee Horn (foot) and Rashaan Melvin (hand), defensive lineman DaQuan Jones are questionable. Offensive lineman Trent Scott and linebacker Frankie Luvu have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cornerback Donte Jackson (groin) is on injured reserve.
Falcons vs Panthers Final Betting Analysis
It has been a tough season for both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers but there have been some bright spots.
Atlanta linebacker Foye Oluokun, a former sixth-round pick out of Yale, is second in the NFL with 135 tackles while Carolina’s Haason Reddick is seventh in the league with 10½ sacks. Reddick is tied for the fifth-best odds to lead the NFL in sacks this season.
It has been another injury-plagued season for Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey while Atlanta’s Cordarelle Patterson needs 11 rushing yards to join Austin Ekeler as the only player in the NFL with at least 500 yards rushing and receiving this season.
Carolina has won two of the last three games in the series and covered in both wins after Atlanta won and covered in eight of the last nine meetings between the teams.
In each of Atlanta’s 12 games, the result was the same as the spread so Atlanta failed to cover in each of the seven losses while covering in all five wins.
Atlanta is 9-3 against the spread in its last 12 games against Carolina.
The total has gone under in five of the last six games between Atlanta and Carolina and this game seems to be trending in that direction.