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Week 16 Best Bets: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers  

The Atlanta Falcons are in Carolina for the holiday season, looking to nail down a division title and officially wipe the Panthers from the playoff picture. 

ATLANTA (9-5) AT CAROLINA (6-8) 

Line: Falcons -3 and O/U 51.5

Playoff hopes may be slim for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers but this Saturday, they are fighting for more than a just an outside shot at the postseason. Atlanta was responsible for the most lopsided loss in the Panthers’ brutal 1-5 start, building off a strong first quarter en route to a 48-33 win. It was one of three games this year where Carolina gave up more than 500 total yards (Saints, Seahawks), compared to 2015 when the Panthers didn’t allow more than 420 net to anyone. This is a chance for divisional revenge in its finest form. 

Carolina’s record against teams that totalled more that 450 yards against them in the previous meeting is 12-2-1 ATS. They were listed as a dog in 12 of those 15 games and won 11 of them straight-up. The Panthers are also 7-3 SU/ATS when seeking revenge against the NFC South from any loss, including a 3-1 ATS record vs. Atlanta. It’s just Ron Rivera’s style. 

Star playmakers like RB Jonathan Stewart, WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen have been nursing injuries but you can expect to see all three of them in starting lineup. Newton is also battling through a shoulder injury that at times makes it look like he’s ready to give up on the season, but we’re seeing the past couple weeks that it’s simply not an option in the Panthers’ head space. They’re just not wired for it.

From a hard-fought loss in Oakland to complete obliteration in Seattle, this team responded well back on home field. They made a statement in Washington last week and this game is a chance to put an exclamation point on an otherwise disappointing season. 

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