Thursday Night Football Betting Preview: Will Panthers and Falcons Light Up the Scoreboard?

The NFC South has been an interesting division. While the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gotten off to a hot start, the rest of the division has played at a bit of an up-and-down level.

The two bottom teams in the division square off tonight in the Carolina Panthers (3-4) and Atlanta Falcons (1-6). If you go by our power rankings, the Panthers should take this one easily, as they sit 12th, and the Falcons are all the way down at 26th.

Let's dive into what we think could be some interesting betting angles for this contest.

Can They Reach the Lofty Total?

It's a pretty boring bet to make, but we could find ourselves smashing the under. With the total currently set at 51.5 points, this seems like a high total for a variety of reasons.

With Christian McCaffrey likely out for the Panthers, this team has obliterated under for four consecutive contests before barely hitting the under last week. Thursday Night Football has not been a boon for points, either, as there has been an average of 49.9 total points per game on Thursdays this season.

And wind could wreak havoc on tonight's game, with strong winds expected to be swirling. That could make it tough for the passing attacks.

There's also history here on our side -- 18 days ago, these two teams played in a tight 23-16 win for Carolina. Situation-neutral pace will not be in favor of a pile of points, either. The Falcons are the quicker of the two teams at 26.79 seconds per play, but the home Panthers are the fourth-slowest team at 30.60 seconds.

Interestingly, 69% of bettors on the total are smashing the over, per oddsFire, but that number has been dropping a bit throughout the day.

Bets to Consider

Money is pouring in on the home Panthers -- 81% of bets and 80% of cash on the spread is backing Carolina. Our models definitely think the Panthers have the best shot to win, giving them win odds of 65.0%. We also like the 2.0-point spread for Carolina, estimating a 60.2% chance that the Panthers cover.

With the total, we think these two go under 51.5 points 56.2% of the time.

There's a fun angle here with the Panthers' spread or moneyline and Teddy Bridgewater's props. Per our rankings, the Falcons have the league's worst passing defense, and over at the FanDuel Sportsbook, Bridgewater's passing props are set at 282.5 yards and 1.5 touchdown passes. This season, the Falcons have been shredded through the air by Russell Wilson (322 passing yards, 4 scores), Dak Prescott (450 passing yards, 1 scores) and Aaron Rodgers (327 passing yards, 4 scores).

Historical Betting Trends

-- Atlanta has loved being a road 'dog. They are 6-1 against-the-spread (ATS) in their last seven games as a road underdog.

-- Eight of the last nine contests between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or more.

-- In recent years, this series has been owned by Atlanta. Prior to Carolina defeating them a few weeks ago, the Falcons had a five-game winning streak versus the Panthers.

-- The under has hit six of the last seven times these two teams have played in Charlotte.