The hopeless Atlanta Falcons travel to Carolina to face the Panthers for Thursday Night Football. This will be a divisional matchup as both teams occupy the bottom two spots in the NFC South, trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints. These two teams previously faced off in Week #5 with Carolina taking the victory 23-16 in Atlanta.
The Falcons have had a tumultuous season with three of the most unlikely losses in NFL history. They’ve already fired their head coach and stand at 1-6 on the year. Atlanta trails the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by five games and simply cannot afford another division loss.
The Panthers have fared quite well this season with a 3-4 record, but have been very competitive in a season with a new quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and a rookie head coach in Matt Rhule. Carolina seems to improve each week and sit two games out of first place.
Carolina enters tonight’s game as two-point home favorites with the total set at 51 points. The temperature will be in the low 70’s with a 55% chance of rain and 10 mph winds expected at kickoff tonight. Let’s look at some winning wagers for tonight’s game.
Robbie Anderson Over 75.5 Receiving Yards (-112)
Robbie Anderson is quietly the second leading receiver in the entire NFL with 640 yards on 46 receptions. Anderson had 112 receiving yards versus Atlanta in Week #5 on eight catches. He has only had less than 75 yards in two games this season.
In Week #3 against the Los Angeles Chargers, Anderson had 55 receiving yards and last week Robbie had 74 receiving yards against the Saints. All 74 receiving yards in last week’s game came in the second half. Anderson did not have a target in the first half and the Carolina offense was struggling. They made the adjustment at halftime and made Anderson a priority in the second half. The Carolina coaching staff will not want this to happen again this week. Look for Bridgewater to make a concerted effort to get Robbie the ball early in tonight’s game.
Anderson has had four games this season with 99 or more receiving yards and is the big-play receiver for this offense. This Atlanta defense is one of the worst in the league and Anderson should be able to gauge them.
Atlanta Team Total Under 24.5 Points (-118)
In their last meeting, the Falcons only scored 16 points. Carolina’s defense is improving by the week. The last time they played Atlanta was at home, in a dome. Tonight’s game will be outside in the elements, slowing down the Falcons.
Matt Ryan Under 285.5 Passing Yards (-112)
This game figures to be a low scoring game and there will be some rain and wind. Julio Jones may play tonight but is still not healthy and should not be a factor. In their last meeting, Ryan only had 226 passing yards on 37 attempts. Both teams will be somewhat run-heavy and if either can jump out to a lead they will try to control the ball. Carolina is only allowing 258 passing yards per game by opposing quarterbacks. The only time Ryan has surpassed this total this season was against historically bad passing defenses and Carolina does not fit into this category. The Panthers will not allow Ryan to throw the ball effectively.
*Odds via DraftKings