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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Panthers still have plenty to play for in Atlanta

Carolina can contribute to entertaining game

Carolina tight end Greg Olsen
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 9.25pm

The three-way fight in the NFC South has been intriguing for the second half of the season and the trio of New Orleans, Carolina and Atlanta could all be in the playoffs.

The Falcons have the most to lose as a home defeat to the Panthers will open the door for Seattle to claim the final NFC spot and that should lead to a decent game against Carolina, who can still claim the divisional title and give themselves a home wildcard game next week.

The Panthers head into the game in better form and as the Saints play against Tampa Bay at the same time as their showdown in Georgia, they have no option but to go on the front foot.

While the Bucs have lost their last five matches, their last four defeats have been by no more than six points, so that game is far from a shoo-in for New Orleans.

It is also a night for Atlanta's offence to step up. The Falcons were the league's highest scorers when Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator last year but have slipped to 15th in the rankings this term.

This is an opportunity for them to lead from the front and put in a dynamic display to show they are not just worth of a playoff place but can again go deep into the post-season.

The Panthers have conceded at least 19 points in each of their last six matches and they have a great threat available to quarterback Cam Newton now tight end Greg Olsen has recovered from a foot injury.

The points total has gone over the line in ten of Carolina's last 14 matches as underdogs and it would be no surprise if this match follows suit.

Recommendation
Over 45 points
2pts 22-23 188Bet


The lowdown
Venue Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Surface Artificial
Weather Indoors
Vegas handicap Carolina +3.5
Vegas points line 45

Team news
Carolina
Safety Kurt Coleman (ankle) and guard Trai Turner (concussion) are rated questionable.
Atlanta
Centre Alex Mack is rated questionable with a calf injury while tight end Levine Toilolo is out with a knee problem. Wide receiver Julio Jones will play after being limited in practice with an ankle injury this week.

Key stat
Carolina have won seven of their last eight matches


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The points total has gone over the line in ten of Carolina's last 14 matches as underdogs and it would be no surprise if this match follows suit
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