Falcons vs. Panthers Line Week 14 2011

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Falcons vs. Panthers Line Week 14 2011

The Falcons vs. Panthers line for Week 14 of the 2011 regular NFL season had Atlanta as a -3 road favorite.

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Atlanta -3 (even) & 47

Opening Line & Total: Falcons -3 & 48

The Panthers are seeking revenge when they host Atlanta in an NFC South clash on Sunday.

Atlanta is 0-2-2 ATS in its past four games, but it did manage to win and cover against Carolina in Week 6. The Panthers led 17-14 in the fourth quarter before the Falcons scored the final 17 points of the game. Rookie Cam Newton tossed three interceptions in that loss and is eager for payback. The Panthers have won two straight contests and Newton has now totaled 26 TD (13 passing, 13 rushing) for the season. The Falcons are third in the NFL in run defense, but allowed 162 yards on the ground to Houston last week. Newton, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams should be able to find some running room and keep this game very tight.

Atlanta seemed committed to running the football with Michael Turner a few weeks ago, but has fallen back to its pass-happy ways. QB Matt Ryan has thrown the ball 165 times (41.3 per game) over the past four weeks, racking up 1,196 yards (299 YPG), 7 TD and 3 INT. Turner has only 104 yards on 33 carries in the past two weeks, as he has been limited a bit by a groin injury. He is expected to play on Sunday, though, which is bad news for the Panthers. In seven career meetings with Carolina, Turner has rushed for 707 yards (4.7 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. With the Panthers currently ranking 27th in the league in rush defense (133 YPG), and possibly minus two linebackers (Omar Gaither - knee, and Jason Phillips - calf), Turner should have a productive afternoon.

Production is what Newton is all about. He has kept his team in most of its games this year, posting a solid 7-5 ATS mark. Like most rookies, he has made his share of bad throws (14 INT), but unlike most quarterbacks, he’s been tearing up the yards with his legs. He has rushed for 518 yards on 5.2 YPC with 13 touchdowns. Another player who has been chewing up yardage is Jonathan Stewart who has a sparkling 4.9 YPC average this year and has tallied 150 yards on just 24 carries (6.3 YPC) in the past two games. Williams leads the team with 569 rushing yards, but was limited to 29 yards on 11 carries last week. The Panthers have to be encouraged when they saw how Houston was so successful rushing the football against Atlanta.

Four key Falcons defenders could be absent for Sunday’s game, which gives even more ammunition for taking Carolina. DE Ray Edwards (shoulder), LB Stephen Nicholas (quad) and CB Kelvin Hayden (toe) are all questionable, while CB Brent Grimes is expected to miss a couple more weeks with a knee injury.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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