Sunday will give us a showdown of the two teams at the bottom of the NFC South standings when the Carolina Panthers travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons. While the Falcons enter as the team with the better record, the Panthers are trending in a better direction.
That's partially because the Panthers entered the season with little expectations, while the Falcons were preseason Super Bowl favorites.
The Panthers aren't likely going to make the playoffs this year. If the Falcons lose this game, their hole in the NFC South will likely be too great.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
When: Sunday, October 16, at 1 p.m. EDT
I look at Bodog's number of 50.5 points and think that these two teams will fly by that number. Both offenses are potent, while their defenses leave a lot to be desired.
This probably guarantees a low-scoring grind, but I am predicting an over here with room to spare.
According to Bodog, the Falcons enter this game as 4.5-point favorites. At that spread, you're more or less taking the team that you think will win.
I am going to go with the Falcons in this one to win and cover, although I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Panthers won.
Panthers LB Omar Gaither (knee) is out.
Panthers S Jermale Hines (illness) and T Jeff Otah (back) are questionable.
Panthers DE Charles Johnson (hip) is probable.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) and CB Christopher Daniels (concussion) are out.
Falcons DE John Abraham (groin), C Todd McClure (knee), G Garrett Reynolds (ankle) and S James Sanders (hamstring) are questionable.
Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee), TE Tony Gonzalez (elbow), DE Cliff Matthews (knee), S William Moore (neck) and WR Roddy White (knee) are probable.
Fantasy Big Plays
I really like just about anyone on offense in this one. Cam Newton and Matt Ryan will both have big days. I also expect big things from Steve Smith and Roddy White.
A guy who I like as a borderline sleeper is Panthers TE Greg Olsen. He is a big target and great in the red zone. The Panthers will be there a lot.
Keys to Panthers Win
If they don't turn the ball over, the Panthers have a great shot in this one. The problem is that while Cam Newton has been amazing, he does turn the ball over a little too much.
Keys to Falcons Win
They need to control the game. With Julio Jones out, Michael Turner needs to be a significant factor.
It's close, but I like the Falcons' overall depth. Expect a shootout indoors, but the Falcons carry a slight edge in this one.
Falcons 35, Panthers 30
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