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It's still anyone's ballgame in the NFC South. The top team (New Orleans) was just beaten handily by the last place team (Atlanta) and the two sandwich teams (Carolina and Tampa Bay) are capable of beating any team on any given Sunday. This week things will clear up a bit as the Falcons and Panthers meet in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 1:00 P.M ET on FOX.
Can Atlanta build off their massive upset over heavily favored New Orleans? It's quite possible. Per ESPN's FPI matchup predictor, the Falcons and Panthers are almost dead even (Carolina 50.5%, Atlanta 49.1%, tie 0.4%). For Atlanta, who's nearly a touchdown dog and on the road, that's saying something.
This will be the first meeting of the season between Atlanta and Carolina.
Falcons Coming Off Big WThe Atlanta Falcons are coming off the high point of their season. They are coming off a huge road win against arguably the best team in the NFC (New Orleans), which was even sweeter because they only had one win in their first eight games. Now, the Falcons look for another division win, this time against Carolina.
While they are coming off a big win, the Falcons have serious injury issues. Some of their best offensive players are banged up, including quarterback Matt Ryan, who's questionable, Devonta Freeman, who's out against Carolina, and Austin Hooper, who also won't play against Carolina.
Brian Hill will step in for Freeman. He received high praise from Ron Rivera in the days leading up to the game.
"He's got good vision, makes a good cut, sticks his foot in the ground and goes downhill. You're not going to arm-tackle him. You've got to wrap and drive. I think that this is a guy that just really has the potential to be a good football player for them and do things that they need," via ESPN.
The defense has struggled this season, ranking 29th in points allowed. That said, they held Drew Brees and New Orleans to nine points last week, their best performance of the season.
How Good Are The Panthers?The Carolina Panthers have had a rollercoaster season so far, struggling with Cam Newton, exploding off the bat with Kyle Allen, and then recently, coming down to earth with Allen. In their last three games, they lost two of three while getting outscored 95-59.
"If the Panthers are going to move on from the greatest player in the history of their franchise, it needs to be for someone you know is good. Not someone that got benched at 2 colleges, went undrafted and then cut by 2 teams."— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) November 6, 2019
— @getnickwright on Cam Newton and Kyle Allen pic.twitter.com/4TsgMnjK7Y
Kyle Allen, in his last three games, has thrown five interceptions and completed less than 60 percent of his passes. The team is hoping it's a mini-slump and this will be a good test for them. The Falcons aren't a good defensive team and if this is truly the future of the team, he needs to play well against the teams he's supposed to play well against.
Ron Rivera is at the podium https://t.co/YbYvImQSwE— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 14, 2019
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Atlanta.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in November.
- 3-8 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Carolina.
- 6-1 SU in their last 7 games vs. Carolina.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is one of the best plays of the weekend and if there was an option for six stars, I'd make this a six-star pick. The Falcons are coming off their biggest win of the season, they're playing for their coaches job, and that means a ton for momentum moving forward. This team finally has some confidence and it's a perfect spot against a very familiar team. Plus, the Panthers play down to their competition, failing to cover eight times in their last 11 games vs. teams with losing records. Above all, people finally have sufficient film on Kyle Allen and, in my opinion, he's not a franchise guy.
Prediction: Atlanta Falcons +6
Full-Game Total Pick
The Atlanta Falcons just held Drew Brees to nine points in their last game and that's something they'll build off of. This is the first time they have faced Kyle Allen but he's been around for long enough now that they have the proper film to scheme against him. I don't expect the Panthers to play great offensively and the Falcons offense is banged up. This is a rivalry game to boot, producing unders in three of their last four meetings. Atlanta wins 20-14.
Prediction: Under 49.5