NFL Pick of the Week – Week 17

Last Updated: 2017-12-28

We’re entering the final week of the regular season, with teams resting starters and we’ve seen some interesting line moves, as teams announce just who will play and who will be sitting on the bench resting up for the playoffs. Just two games more than 60% of the wagers on the over, while there are eight games with 60% of the wagers on the under, which is practically unheard of.

For this week’s NFL Pick of the Week, we’ll look at the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons have been bet up to 4-point favorites and the total has dropped to 45.

The Falcons are one of three teams in must-win situations, along with Tennessee and the San Diego Chargers, which hasn’t been the greatest of wagers over the year, but have to think Atlanta is the right side in this one. Unlike the other two, the Falcons at least know how to get to the playoffs, although anybody who watched the second half of the Super Bowl could argue they don’t know what to do once they get there.

The Panthers were able to pull out a 20-17 victory last month in Carolina, but the Falcons have been tough on Carolina at home the past two years, winning 48-33 and 20-13. The Panthers ran the ball for more than 200 yards in November’s win, although they were outgained by 25 yards.

While the Falcons look to have fallen off, it’s not quite so simple, as Atlanta has struggled to capitalize on their opportunities. Even though the Falcons out-gain the Panthers by 35 yards per game, Carolina scores 1.4 more points per game. Atlanta throws for 245 yards a game and the Panthers allow 223.6, so the Falcons should have a little bit of success through the air, although they also did in the first game, but they had to throw 38 times to gain 302 yards.

The Panthers have a chance for a bye, at least mathematically, but they would need Chicago to beat Minnesota and Tampa Bay to beat New Orleans, so the Panthers probably aren’t counting on that happening.

The Falcons have typically been a team who is able to bounce back after a loss and are 6-2 straight-up and 5-3 ATS after a loss in their last eight attempts and have plenty to play for here, against a Carolina team who realistically knows the Saints and Vikings aren’t going to lose.

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