This week’s Thursday Night Football offering of the Atlanta Falcons visiting the Carolina Panthers is only slightly more appealing than last week’s Giants-Eagles game, but we can still make money if we bet smart.
Last week we cashed on the Under 43.5 (though we had to sweat it out with the Eagles’ late 2-point conversion), and here we again find more value in the total.
We loved Over 49 earlier in the week. It’s been bet up to 51 as obviously plenty of other sharp bettors saw value at the lower number, so I wouldn’t bet it Over if it goes any higher as 51 is a fairly key number in totals wagering as it can land with 27-24, 28-23, 31-20, etc. (and hopefully it dips a little lower before kickoff so those scores would result in a win).
The Falcons (1-6 straight-up, 2-5 against the spread) continue to amaze us in how they can blow big leads and/or late leads. They give up 29.6 points per game (31 on the road) and we doubt they’ll slow down Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina offense, even without star RB Christian McCaffrey playing. As much as the Falcons stink overall, Matt Ryan is still putting up solid numbers (2,181 passing yards, 12 TD passes) along with Todd Gurley on the ground, so they’ll get their share of points, too.
The Panthers are clearly the better team this season and this line seems short at -2.5, even if not giving them much for home-field advantage. Panthers -2.5 looks like the right side, though I wouldn’t talk anyone out of starting an NFL 6-point teaser (where you move the line 6 points in your favor on two or more teams) on the Falcons 8.5. If the Panthers win by between 3 and 8 points (with 3 and 7 being “key” numbers in NFL betting), we all win. The best games to tie it with on Sunday would be teasing the Lions up to 8.5 or 9 vs. the Colts and/or the Raiders teased up to 8.5 points at the Browns, though I would also suggest including the Packers teased down to -0.5 vs. the Vikings.
The pick: Over 51