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NFL Football Betting: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Two teams that are in very tough shape get together on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (grass) as the Atlanta Falcons (2-6 SU, 5-3 ATS) visit the Carolina Panthers (4-4 SU & ATS) in a game scheduled for 1 PM ET. In the Top Sportsbooks NFL football betting odds, Carolina is listed at -4.5, with the TOTAL posted at 36.5 points.
NFL football betting odds: Carolina -4.5, Total 36.5
NOTABLE STAT: Carolina & Atlanta have totaled 114 points in their last four games (projected to 28.5 ppg)
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TRENDS: Carolina has five straight unders, Atlanta four straight unders.
(For more useful stats and NFL betting trends, check out our special Matchup Tool)
We will focus on an analysis of the total for this NFC South encounter.
First, let’s take a look at the TOTALS-RELATED pro football betting trends concerning this matchup:
* ATLANTA and CAROLINA have both played six UNDERS in eight games
* CAROLINA has played five straight games UNDER the total
* CAROLINA has played 10 UNDERS in their last 15 home games
* ATLANTA has played four straight games UNDER the total
* ATLANTA has played 14 of its last 17 games UNDER the total
* Six of the last nine meetings have gone UNDER the total
* Six of the last seven meetings in Charlotte have gone UNDER the total
This is not necessarily a strict trend play. But the Panthers have fallen under THIS posted total in each of those five games as well. They have averaged just 12.4 points a game in that period. That is almost five points a game below their season average (17.1). Carolina’s slide on the scoreboard has coincided with the loss of Jake Delhomme, who went down after the third game. And things look like they may turn worse on the offensive side. David Carr (just 4.7 yards an attempt – worst in NFL) started Sunday’s game against Tennessee, but was knocked out with a concussion in the second half after throwing 27 passes for just 107 yards.
Carr’s status for this game is uncertain; he is essentially on big blow from being knocked out of a game, and because of his penchant for holding onto the ball too long, he is highly susceptible to being sacked. He was dumped seven times against the Titans. Vinny Testaverde is still nursing a sore Achilles tendon, and even if he can go, he’s vulnerable. That might leave Carolina with Matt Moore, an undrafted rookie out of Oregon State who wouldn’t have even been on the roster had injuries not hit Delhomme and Brett Basanez. Moore was 2-for-5 in relief of Carr on Sunday, and threw an interception.
Carolina has managed only one touchdown in each of its last two games. Only seven points have been registered in the last seven quarters. And the Panthers are notoriously worse at home than they are on the road when it comes to scoring points. This season Carolina has scored just 35 points in three home games and have tallied just 103 points in their last eight (12.9 ppg).
Atlanta has averaged just 14.8 ppg over the period in which they have played four straight unders. That’s relatively consistent with the Falcons’ season average of 14.4 ppg. Joey Harrington has thrown for 266 yards in 43 attempts over the last two games. he would not be starting if not for the fact that Byron Leftwich went down with injury in his first start after being signed.
These teams rank 26th (Carolina) and 30th (Atlanta) in scoring, but both rank around the middle of the league defensively. In fact, it isn’t really defense that has been the problem for either side, although sometimes lack of offensive output has kept the defenses on the field for too long a time.
In terms of the statistic we call “Yards Per Point,” these teams are two of the worst in the NFL. Atlanta has had to gain 20.5 yards for every point it has scored, while Carolina’s figure is 17.4. To put it in some perspective, Indianapolis and San Diego, the two teams playing on Monday night, have figures of 12.8 and 13.1, respectively.
Fumbling, stumbling and bumbling will rule on Sunday. Look for the game to go under the 36.5-point total that is posted in the Top Sportsbooks NFL betting odds.
NFL BETTING FREE PICK: JAY’S PLAY: UNDER 36.5 ** (Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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