NFL Picks – Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
This used to be one of the best rivalries in the NFC. When Michael Vick and Julius Peppers lined up across from one another in a game that meant the division, this was always one of the best games on the board. These days, the Panthers are rebuilding and the Falcons are spinning their wheels. Though this was supposed to be a year where Atlanta took a step forward, it seems that they are stuck in neutral. Matt Ryan and company haven’t been able to get off the ground in 2011. Last week, they went out to Houston and let one get away against a team that was playing its third string quarterback.
In this game, the Falcons are predictably a field goal favorite. The Panthers are at home and they have been playing much better football. Cam Newton has been able to move the ball down the field and they have been scoring points all season. The defense has struggled at times and the run game has been a bit suspect, but the Panthers are a strong team at home. They are trending in the right direction, while the Falcons seem to be headed the wrong way. The only thing to keep in mind here is that Atlanta has to win this game. If they want to make the playoffs, this one is an absolute must.
The line suggests that Carolina is the right play. When you make your NFL picks, you want to keep in mind a lot of factors, though. Even though the public seems to be back Atlanta here, the Panthers could jump up and win this game outright. Who you pick in this game ultimately depends upon how much you trust Matt Ryan. Do you trust that he can exploit a Carolina secondary that has been pretty bad all year? If you trust Ryan, then the answer is easy. You should be on the Falcons to cover a small number. If you don’t trust Ryan, then you should be on the Panthers in a game that they have a chance to win outright. The value might be in the points here.