Thursday, October 29, 2020, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, 8:20 p.m. ET
Falcons at Panthers Betting Preview: Falcons (+3), Panthers (-3)
The Falcons are 1-1 since interim coach Raheem Morris took charge upon the firing of Dan Quinn, whose final game came in a 23-16 home loss earlier in the month against the Panthers. The Falcons found yet another way to endure a tough defeat when the Detroit Lions won 23-22 on the final play in last week’s game.
This is a Thursday night game, meaning a quick turnaround as the Falcons try to put the frustrating result behind them. Atlanta receiver Julio Jones has been dealing with some ailments, but he could be set to play against a Carolina defense that he has torched numerous times through the years when these NFC South rivals have met.
The Falcons have one of the NFL’s worst-rated defenses, giving up 426.9 yards per game. The Falcons had won five consecutive meetings with Carolina until the outcome earlier this month.
Running back Christian McCaffrey has been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers went 3-2 in games without their star running back, but that includes the two games they have dropped in back-to-back weeks. They’ll try to repeat some of their success from a 23-16 victory Oct. 11 at Atlanta. McCaffrey’s replacement, Mike Davis, had 149 yards from scrimmage in the first game vs. Atlanta.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is second in the NFL with a 72.2 completion percentage and Atlanta has allowed an NFL-worst 17 TD passes.
Carolina needs to sort out some things on defense after New Orleans converted on 12 of 14 third-down opportunities last week. The Panthers, who are 2-8 in the last 10 collisions with the Falcons, are seeking consecutive victories against Atlanta for the first time since the second 2014 meeting and first 2015 matchup.
Falcons at Panthers Betting Pick for Week 8
Defense need not apply in this short week matchup in which two teams with too much to figure out are forced to field the most competitive product they possibly can coming out of close defeats last week.
Even without McCaffrey in tonight’s contest, Bridgewater and Carolina should still find Atlanta’s defense to be user-friendly as the Falcons struggle to find motivation — and the end zone — until it’s too late.
Falcons at Panthers Betting Pick:
Panthers 32, Falcons 27
Falcons at Panthers Best Bet for Week 7
Teams averaging a combined 51 points per game ranked in the top 12 in total offense are shooting for a big number this week. Neither defense is capable of key stops and third-down and red-zone deficiencies are sure to be highlighted in this shootout.
Falcons at Panthers Best Bet: OVER 49 total points (-110)