ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 09: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on October 9, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Both the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers are better than their records but the Falcons enter their matchup as four-point favorites this weekend.
The Atlanta Falcon's second-half implosion against the Green Bay Packers last weekend didn't amuse oddsmakers, who left them as small 4-point home chalk against the visiting Carolina Panthers on the Week 6 NFL odds menu, according to our partner Odds Shark.
Sunday's game will be decided by quarterback play. Matt Ryan has under-performed expectations in 2011 as he's thrown 7 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, while Panthers' QB Cam Newton has vastly exceeded them as a rookie, throwing for the same number of scores and picks as Ryan. Ultimately I think the Falcons win, but it's going to be close, so I would take the Panthers plus the points.
When it comes to over/under we're looking at a line of 51 points. Neither the Falcons nor the Panthers have any problems scoring in bunches, and both have suspect pass defenses; as such I'm taking the over all day long. Atlanta are able to put up a lot of points in the Georgia Dome, and the Panthers are averaging 25 points when there are no weather conditions.
This really is a tale of two cities, where in Atlanta their team really shouldn't be 2-3 as some critical execution errors have prevented them from winning games, and in Charlotte where the Panthers are better than their 1-4 record suggests.