NFL Carolina at Atlanta Week 4 Expert Picks
There will be no repeat of a 15-1 regular-season campaign for reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, who suffered their second defeat of the season at the rough hands of the Minnesota Vikings last week. In fact, if the Panthers don’t get their act together real soon, a below 10-win mark could be a real possibility. For the Falcons, their season couldn’t have started any better, as they already own a 2-1 mark from their first three games, including a thrilling 45-32 Monday Night road win at New Orleans, a victory that catapulted Atlanta to the top of the NFC South division.
With Carolina, one hand, looking to bounce back on the winning column and Atlanta, on the other hand, seeking to build on its impressive start of the season; who will be getting the important W in victorious in this mouthwatering NFC South face-off? Find out as our expert NFL online betting handicapper breaks it down for you below.
Here’s A Closer Look At The NFL Panthers at Falcons Week 4 Expert Picks
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
When: Sunday, October 2, 1:00 PM ET
Live Stream: FOX Sports GO
NFL Lines: Atlanta (-3), OVER/UNDER 50
Why Bet on Carolina
It’s a bit too early to start panicking, but the truth is that Carolina Panthers’ has been a shadow of its dominant self from last season, more so in defense. Through the first three weeks, the Panthers have allowed 20 points to Denver’s makeshift offense, 27 points to the struggling 49ers and 22 points the injury-laden Vikings last week. And to make matters worse, Super Cam has faced too many hits due to poor protection from his O-line. The Falcons are not that hard-hitting, but if you give them their chances, you can be sure they’ll take them efficiently. And even if they won’t be hitting Newton or frustrating his offensive weapons, the explosive No.1-ranked scoring Atlanta offense (34.67 PPG) will wreak havoc at the back with big plays and scores, so the Panthers must find ways of patching up their defense. Offensively, it all starts with Newton, but the rest of the team—especially the running backs—must also join in. The more the offensive backs stretch the field, the less pressure Newton will have under the center, hence allowing him to play up to his huge potential and giving his team a winning chance.
Why Bet on Atlanta
No big game from Julio Jones, No problem. The Saints did a good job of studying Atlanta’s film and planned on keeping Jones off his element, and admittedly succeeded as the reigning NFL leader in receptions from 2015 finished the game with one reception for 16 measly yards in a big letdown performance for his Fantasy owners. What the Saints didn’t count on was a strong performance from Atlanta’s running game, and they certainly paid for it dearly, as Devonta Freeman gashed New Orleans for 152 yards rushing, while Tevin Coleman walked three TDs, albeit to the chagrin of many Freeman owners. Not to be outdone, Matt Ryan was solid with 240 passing yards and two touchdowns against zero picks. This offensive outburst ensured that Atlanta’s high-scoring ways continued after the team had scored 24 in the loss to Tampa Bay and 35 in the win at Oakland. With this offense finding its identity both aerially and on the ground, the Falcons will certainly fancy their chances against Carolina’s defense that has been far from steady this season. Of course, Atlanta’s defense (30.33 PPG allowed) will need to get its act together, especially in the defending the pass, given that the Newton-led offense is more than capable of replicating the output of Jameis Winston, Derek Carr and Drew Brees, who all had big passing performances against Atlanta.
Expert NFL Predictions and Online Picks
The Panthers and Falcons split their two meetings last season, including a Carolina loss at Georgia Dome, so it comes as no surprise that the Falcons are favored here. But as a crucial difference, Carolina can’t afford another loss right now, so there will be extra motivation for the Panthers to get the win here. At worse, Carolina should be able to keep things close to cover the spread against the Falcons, who are pathetically 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games.