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Falcons vs. Panthers - 12/28/14 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Carolina Panthers (6-8-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-9)
Date & Time Sunday December 28, 2014, 1:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -4 -- Over/Under: 48
TV Channel
FOX
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NFL | Carolina Panthers (6-8-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-9)
USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers face off on Sunday in the Georgia Dome in a week 17 NFL winner take all matchup for the NFC South title.

The Atlanta Falcons are 6-9 but with a win in this game they are the NFC South Champions and host a playoff game next week. The Falcons are averaging 25.2 points and 384.2 yards per game and they are led by QB Matt Ryan who has completed 66.4 percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Steven Jackson leads the Atlanta rushing attack with 707 yards and six touchdowns and Julio Jones is the Falcons top receiver with 100 catches and Roddy White has 72 catches. The Falcons defense has been pitiful allowing 35.5 points and a 32nd ranked 404.4 yards per game but they are plus eight in turnover ratio. Paul Worrilow has 136 tackles, Kemal Ishmael has 91 tackles, and Joplo Bartu has 79 tackles. The Falcons know with a win their overall record goes out the window and they get a fresh start.

The Carolina Panthers are 6-8-1 this season and like the Falcons with a win they are in the playoffs and a loss means they go home. Carolina is averaging 20.3 points and 349.4 yards per game led by QB Cam Newton who has completed 58.3 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and he has rushed for 488 yards and four touchdowns. Jonathan Stewart leads the Panthers ground attack with 760 yards and Greg Olden is Carolina’s top receiver with 82 catches and Kelvin Benjamin has 72 catches and nine touchdowns. The Panthers defense has improved after a slow start allowing 24.7 points and 343.3 yards per game and they are even in turnovers. Luke Keuchly has 145 tackles, Thomas Davis has 96 tackles, and Charles Johnson has 7.5 sacks. The Panthers have won their last three games but lost the first meeting against the Falcons.

Atlanta is 6-1 against the spread against the NFC South, 1-4 against the spread following a win, and 1-4 against the spread at home against a team with a losing home record. Carolina is 9-4 against the spread against the NFC South, 16-7-1 against the spread against a team with a losing record, and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games. The home team has covered the point spread in the last four meetings of these two.

The first game was tight and this one should be as well so while he NFC South isn't known for defense right now I still lean to the under. I also have a play on who will cover the spread and I will post that pick in the Premium Area as well as on the App.

Pick:
Under 48

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