Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season will kick off with an NFC South showdown.
The Atlanta Falcons will be in Charlotte on Thursday night for a matchup with the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons are coming off yet another seemingly improbable loss, while the Panthers will be trying to halt their losing skid at two games.
Here’s our betting preview for the latest “Thursday Night Football” contest. The line, total and props are provided by consensus data.
Atlanta Falcons at (-2.5) Carolina PanthersTotal: 49
BETTING TRENDSTeams that play their home games in domes often experience a notable dip in play on the road. That hasn’t really been the case this season for the 1-5 Falcons, who are 2-1 against the spread in 2020 away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But to be fair, those pair of road covers were against the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, who own a combined 3-10 record entering Week 8.
The Panthers, who currently feature a 4-3 ATS record, haven’t been a great bet on home soil thus far. Carolina is 1-2 ATS at Bank of America Stadium, though its lone victory was an impressive 10-point win over the Arizona Cardinals. It also should be noted Matt Rhule’s team only has been pegged as a betting favorite in one game to date this season. It failed to cover a 1.5-point spread in a home loss to the Chicago Bears.
As for the total, the OVER has cashed in five of the Falcons’ seven games this season. All but one of those contests had a total of 49.5 or higher. The OVER has hit in four of the Panthers’ seven outings, though four of those totals were settled at 48 or under.
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PROPSFirst-half line, totalPanthers -0.5, 23.5
First touchdown scorerChristian McCaffrey +450Mike Davis +450Todd Gurley +650Robby Anderson +1050D.J. Moore +1110Julio Jones +110
Passing yardsTeddy Bridgewater over/under 279.5 yardsMatt Ryan over/under 278.5 yards
Rushing yardsTodd Gurley over/under 63 yards
Receiving yardsRobby Anderson over/under 74.5 yardsD.J. Moore over/under 67.5 yardsPICKPanthers -2.5
Matt Ryan has been heating up of late, throwing for a combined 709 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions over his last two games. The veteran quarterback will be hard-pressed to keep it rolling against the Panthers defense, which currently is allowing the 10th-fewest passing yards per game. The unit limited Ryan to 226 passing yards with no TDs and one interception when the Panthers topped the Falcons in Atlanta back in Week 5.
Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, shined in that contest. The first-year Panther completed 27 of 36 pass attempts for 313 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Bridgewater should be able to torch Atlanta again, as the Falcons are allowing the second-most passing yards per game and also have surrendered a league-worst 19 scores through the air.
To put it simply, Carolina needs this one more than its division rival. At 3-4 on the season, the Panthers cannot afford to waste this opportunity as it tries to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
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