Rivera: “We’ve been in playoff mode for three weeks. That’s been good for us.” #KeepPounding — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 26, 2014The Carolina Panthers have been about as ineffective on offense as it gets, yet they have somehow managed to find a way to stick around, and currently occupy top spot in the division. Win this weekend and they are in, although the question really does remain as to how far either of these teams can actually go in the playoffs. The Panthers are certainly going to have to be a whole lot better this weekend than they were the past two weeks. Yes, they won both games, but they were against bad teams in Tampa Bay and Cleveland, with both games won by a combined total of just 6 points.
It all comes down to this. Falcons-Panthers hype video: http://t.co/Tx6xW8UfKf #RiseUp pic.twitter.com/S8atgaR88o — Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) December 26, 2014BETTING ODDS Matt Ryan and the Falcons have been way more effective over the years when playing at home, so no real surprise that they are 4-point home favorites. The Falcons are just 7-8 ATS this season, but have compiled a 4-1 ATS record versus division opponents. The Panthers are also 7-8 ATS on the season, and are 3-2 ATS versus division foes. They are also 1-0 ATS when playing in a dome this season. The Falcons won the previous meeting against the Panthers this season, eking out a 19-17 win on the road. Game Odds: PANTHERS: +3½-115, OV 47 ½ -110, ML +155 FALCONS: -3½-105, UN 47 ½ -110, ML -175 If the Falcons can play as well as they did last weekend, this should be a comfortable win. Consistency has been an issue, though. I think Atlanta gets the job done at home, and I also think they will cover.