The Falcons had been one of the most disappointing teams of the season before they pulled off their Week 10 upset, a surprise blowout of the division-leading Saints. They’ll try to repeat that magic in Week 11, with another NFC South divisional matchup against the Panthers. Though the Falcons are extreme longshots to make the playoffs, crazier things have happened and they’re not mathematically eliminated. A more realistic goal, however, is to play spoiler to the Panthers’ fading postseason dreams, and in the process build their resume for 2020 – since many Falcons, both players and coaches, are likely to get replaced this offseason.
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With the exception of Week 10, the Falcons’ defense has struggled. Though their rush defense ranks 10th according to DVOA, their pass defense is so bad that their overall defensive DVOA is third-to-last. While Kyle Allen hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since he took over for the injured Cam Newton (foot), he’s been a solid and capable caretaker for the offense, he’s helped D.J. Moore maintain a 1,200-yard pace and kept Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen fantasy relevant. Facing his easiest matchup of the season, Allen should be capable of keeping the Panthers’ offense moving.
Matt Ryan threw for at least 300 yards in each of his first six games, but has struggled in his two games since. Furthermore, the Panthers have a “run funnel” defense, third in pass defense DVOA and dead last in rushing defense allowed. This could be a giant game for whoever replaces Devonta Freeman as the Falcons’ RB, presumably Brian Hill.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Falcons at Panthers
Point Spread: Falcons +4.5
Total Points: 49
Money Line: Panthers -210; Falcons +180
Overall: Falcons 2-7; Panthers 5-4
ATS: Falcons 3-6; Panthers 5-4
O/U: Falcons 3-6; Panthers 6-3
- Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan (ankle) will play. He did not practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday and Friday.
- Falcons’ RB Devonta Freeman (foot) is out.
- Falcons’ TE Austin Hooper (knee) is out.
- Falcons’ TE Luke Stocker (knee) will play. He was limited in practice on Wednesday.
- Panthers’ RB Christian McCaffrey (foot) will play. He missed Wednesday’s practice.
- Panthers’ CB James Bradberry (groin) will play. He missed Wednesday’s practice.
Notable Prop Bets
Parlay Falcons point spread and over +260; Total touchdowns (both teams combined) over 5.5 +100
Panthers first to score 25 points -104; D.J. Moore to score 2+ touchdowns +850; Christian McCaffrey to score and Panthers to win -162; Christian McCaffrey to score first touchdown and Panthers to win +450
- Eight of the last nine games between NFC South teams have been won by the road team.
- The Falcons have covered the spread in six of their last seven games against the Panthers.
- Eight of the Panthers’ last nine day games at Bank of America Stadium have gone over the total points line.
- Christian McCaffrey has scored the first touchdown in each of the Panthers’ last three games as favorites.
- Julio Jones has scored a touchdown in each of the Falcons’ last six games following a win.
- Calvin Ridley has scored a touchdown in four of the Falcons’ last five road games against NFC opponents.
- Christian McCaffrey has scored two or more touchdowns in each of the Panthers’ last four Sunday games as favorites.
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Odds and lines subject to change. See website for details.