Two highly disappointing teams which belong in the same division will share heartbreaking stories this weekend, as the Atlanta Falcons pay the Carolina Panthers a visit. The Panthers are counting on a miracle to help sneak them into the playoffs, but first they have to win. Will the Falcons sweep their regular-season series with Carolina? Or will the Panthers even it all up – with or without Cam Newton. Read more about this matchup below.
Betting Preview for the Atlanta Falcons vs Carolina Panthers NFL Week 16 Game on December 23, 2018
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
When: Sunday, December 23, 2018, 1:00 PM ET
Line: Atlanta Falcons (+3) vs Carolina Panthers (-3) – view all 2018 NFL lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
Betting on the Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
It’s been a sad season for the Falcons, but at least they managed to arrest their catastrophic five-game winning streak last week by beating the lowly Arizona Cardinals to a pulp at home to the tune of a 40-14 score. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had a field day finding his receivers, completing 22-of-36 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns without an interceptions. But it was Atlanta’s ground attack that had the biggest night of all, particularly running back Tevin Coleman, who went off for 145 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. That’s a nice performance for Coleman to springboard into the rematch with Carolina and its defense that he already dominated back in Week 2’s 31-24 home win. In that game, Coleman had 107 rushing yards on 16 carries. Ryan, for his part, went 23-of-28 for 272 passing yards and two touchdowns to go with a pick thrown.
The Falcons are 10th in the league with 25.4 points per game and ninth with 379.3 total yards per contest.
Atlanta is 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with the Panthers.
Betting on the Carolina Panthers (6-8)
Cam Newton has a hurting right shoulder, which may or may not be blamed for his poor performance in Week 15’s 12-9 home loss to the New Orleans Saints, but could probably cause him to sit the remaining two games of the regular season. Although the Panthers are technically alive in the playoff hunt, their chances of getting in can be fairly considered a pipe dream. If Newton, who passed for just 131 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception on 16-of-29 completions in the Saints game, will not be able to give it a go in Week 16, the Panthers will turn to Taylor Heinicke for quarterbacking duties. In any case, it seems that Carolina will have to continue feeding versatile running back Christian McCaffrey the ball. McCaffrey had a huge game in the first meeting with Atlanta, as he had 37 rushing yards to go with 102 receiving yards on 14 receptions and 15 targets. He will once again face Atlanta’s defense that’s 29th in the NFL with 27.2 points allowed per contest.
The under is 3-0 in their last three home games.
Carolina wins, 27-23.
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