Just three games into the season, the Atlanta Falcons already appear to be running away with the NFC South.
The Carolina Panthers will try to slow the Falcons down Sunday, but they have not slowed the march of triumphant Atlanta bettors when they play in Georgia.
In 14 recent games played in Atlanta, Carolina is just 3-10-1 ATS, according to the matchup report trends. They face a 7.5-point spread this week and see a total of 48.5 as of mid-week, although online sportsbook Top Bet had the number at 49, the best value for UNDER bettors so far in Week 4).
Through three games this season, a strong case could be made that the Atlanta Falcons have been the NFL's most impressive team. With a 3-0 SU and ATS record and outscoring opponents 94-48, Atlanta has looked sharp on both sides of the ball in all three of its games.
The Falcons are 27-6 SU in their last 33 games at home.
After a solid performance in a 35-27 upset win over New Orleans, Carolina was completely outclassed by the New York Giants in a 36-7 blowout loss at home last Thursday night. Now 1-2 SU and ATS, Carolina will need to get better in a hurry if it doesn't want to fall out of the playoff race in the extremely competitive NFC.
Just about all of the trends in this game point to an Atlanta Falcons win and cover. Carolina is just 3-14 SU in its last 17 games on the road and 4-8 ATS in its last 12 road games. The Falcons have dominated the Panthers in recent years with a 7-2 SU and ATS record in their last nine meetings including four straight wins both SU and ATS.
Going further back, Carolina is an ugly 3-11-2 ATS in its last 16 road games against Atlanta.
But one major factor working in Carolina's favor is travel. The Panthers haven't left the Southeast yet with two games in Florida and two at home. Atlanta, meanwhile, traveled to Kansas City, back home, then out to San Diego last week, and now back home again.
No team in the NFL plays 16 perfect games, and despite the fact that most of the signs point to Atlanta here, we think this might be a letdown spot for the Falcons and that the Panthers can at least keep it close.
PICK: Carolina +7