Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Week 8 Spread Bet

by | Last updated Oct 26, 2022 | nfl

Carolina Panthers (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-4 SU, 6-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 8
Date/Time: Sunday October 30th, 2022. 1:00PM (EST)
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, GA

Betting Odds:

Point Spread: CAR +4.5/ATL -4.5
Moneyline: CAR +190/ATL -210
Total: 41

Last week, the Carolina Panthers captured one of the biggest upsets of the NFL season in a 21-3 thumping over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before the game, the Panthers were 1-5 SU and were just days removed from trading away their biggest asset in RB Christian McCaffrey, which followed another cataclysmic event in the firing of Head Coach Matt Rhule. While most of the sports world had accepted the notion that the Panthers were throwing away the season to obtain draft capital, the Panthers dazzled with backup quarterback P.J Walker and an explosive ground game led by the duo of tailbacks Chubba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman to overcome 13 point betting spread for a 21-3 victory over the Bucs.

To make matters more interesting, the victory put the Panthers just one game away from the top spot in the pitiful NFC South despite being just 2-5 SU and 2-5 ATS on the season. Currently, the top of the NFC South is occupied by both Tampa Bay and Atlanta at 3-4 SU. With the Buccaneers seemingly falling off a cliff in 2022 in terms of performance, the NFC South is truly wide open at the moment, and that leaves an intriguing match-up for this Sunday when the Falcons host the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To the surprise of many, the Falcons are arguably playing the best football in the division and will be 4.5-point favorites for their homestand against Carolina.

Panthers QB PJ Walker will start against Atlanta

Last week’s impressive victory over the Bucs revived a recurring conversation in Carolina around the quarterback position. As many are aware, QB Baker Mayfield has been downright awful since joining the franchise at the beginning of the year. Mayfield was acquired by the Panthers to replace QB Sam Darnold, who was yet another failed experiment under the Rhule regime in 2021. Going into Sunday’s contest against Atlanta, both Mayfield and Darnold could be watching from the sidelines. In last week’s win over Tampa Bay, backup PJ Walker played really well, completing 16 of 22 passing for 177 yards with two touchdowns. It was a rare bright spot for the Panthers, who have witnessed horrific quarterback play for years. This week interim coach Steve Wilks stated that the team will stick with Walker behind center for the 2nd straight week and give the 3rd year quarterback out of Temple a chance to build on last week’s success.

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Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Analysis

From a match-up perspective, I think the Panthers will have their hands full in their attempt for a 2nd straight upset this week. The Falcons have been surprisingly efficient this season, and that is because they have put major emphasis on running the football, controlling the clock, and limiting mistakes. In fact, the Falcons rank 4th in the NFL, averaging 156 yards per game, and that includes the fact that their top two rushers in, Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams, have been sidelined with injuries. In the interim, tailbacks Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley have been serviceable rushers for Arthur Smith’s ground attack.

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Against a sub-par offense, the heavy ground attack is perhaps all the Falcons need to establish control of this match-up. With that being said, the Panthers do have paths to victory, but it’s likely not the path they would like. In last week’s win against Tampa Bay, the Panthers surprisingly racked up over 200 yards on the ground against one of the better rush defenses in the league. Personally, I’m viewing that as an anomaly until the Panthers can prove they can be consistent on the ground in the wake of McCaffrey’s departure.

Furthermore, Atlanta has a pretty sound run defense that is allowing just 100 yards per game on the ground. The Falcons are more vulnerable in the pass-defense, where they have been shredded for 310 yards per game. However, that fact goes back to the play at the quarterback position, which has plagued the Panthers for years. Can Walker deliver for a 2nd straight week to get WR DJ Moore and the Panthers’ receiving corps ample opportunities? That is the question that will likely determine the outcome of this Sunday’s NFC South showdown!

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Prediction

I’ve watched the Panthers all year, and I don’t have any confidence that bettors should expect this team has turned things around. I like the Falcons’ style of football and believe that will work well in this match-up. I do believe the “over” is also worth consideration.
Jay’s Pick: Take Atlanta -4.5