The Atlanta Falcons (0-1) hope to take advantage of some extra time off on Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers (1-0) as solid home favorites at sportsbooks in a key NFC South matchup.
The Falcons are coming off an 18-12 road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday while the banged-up Panthers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 16-8 on Sunday in two games that easily finished under the total.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 22.4-21.1 Panthers (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Panthers can cover the spread
Carolina lost an important cog in the offense last week when tight end Greg Olsen went down with a fractured foot again, but his value might be a bit overrated with regards to the point spread.
The Panthers saw him go down early in their win over the Cowboys and still did enough to earn the victory, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
They sacked Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott six times and held the opposition to just 232 total yards, and another performance like that could lead to an upset win at Atlanta.
Why the Falcons can cover the spread
The Falcons have won eight of the past 10 home meetings in this series both straight up and against the spread, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
That is certainly a trend worth betting on along with the fact they are also 14-2 SU and 13-3 ATS in their previous 16 home games played during the month of September.
While Atlanta did not look great last Thursday at Philadelphia, the team had its moments with a chance to win at the end, just like in its divisional playoff matchup played there in January.
Smart betting pick
Carolina's lack of offense will be too much to overcome in this spot, especially since the team has already dropped seven of its last eight divisional road games.
The Falcons will be extra motivated to forget about Week 1 and impress their fans in their home opener with a rebound win over the Panthers.
And with a 9-2 SU mark in its last 11 games versus NFC South foes, look for Atlanta to come through with another win and cover.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in eight of the Panthers' last 10 games against the Falcons.
The Panthers are 2-8 SU and ATS in their last 10 games on the road against the Falcons.
The total has gone under in four of the Panthers' last five games in September.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.