Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
This line was 4 a week ago on the early line, but has since fallen to 3. That’s significant because about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal. The line movement makes some sense, as the Panthers lost at home to the Vikings last week, while the Falcons won in New Orleans. However, the Panthers still moved the chains at a higher rate than the Vikings, something they’ve done against all 3 opponents thus far this season. The Falcons won that battle against the Saints as well, but the Saints are far from a tough opponent this season. I think we’re getting a little bit of line value here with the Panthers.
There’s not enough here to be that confident in Carolina, but, as long as this line is at 3, they should be the right side. There’s a good chance the Panthers win by a field goal and this line pushes, but, as long as all they have to do is win by at least a field goal, I think they should be able to do it. If you’re taking the Falcons here, you’d have to be confident that they have a good shot to win straight up and I’m not. The Falcons are a solid opponent and the Panthers aren’t quite what they were last year, but they’re still one of the top few most talented teams in the league and have a major talent advantage over the Falcons, who once again have one of the worst defenses in the league.
Carolina Panthers 26 Atlanta Falcons 20
Pick against the spread: Carolina -3