ProFootballDoc: Thursday Night Football ATL vs CAR Advantages

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Not exactly an exciting matchup between two losing NFC South teams but then again the Falcons are tied for first place in the division. There are advantages and props to be had with the analysis of who might be missing. So far this season, the five Sunday picks against the spread are +11 units at 26-15-4.

ATL -2.5 @ CAR

A quick look shows both teams evenly matched in their team SIC score. As we are at mid-season, our attention turns to directional health or deltas for the advantages. On further inspection, the Falcons should be able to run the ball and the Panthers have a chance to have passing success. Cordarelle Patterson has made an effective return after his in season knee scope surgery and he faces a defense that gave up five TDs to Joe Mixon last week. Meanwhile, Atlanta is down their top two corners but the did make a trade deadline acquisition of CB Rashad Fenton. P.J. Walker is still the starter after being pulled for the second half last week, thus it is fair to ask if Carolina can take advantage.

Another Panthers shortcoming may be the game plan especially on defense. On a short week where it is hard enough to prepare, two more assistant coaches were fired. Coaches fired mid season typically don’t get replace but the duties get spread to the existing staff. The Panthers defense that gave up 35 first half points to the Bengals just four days ago will enter tonights game without their defensive line and cornerbacks coach after the defensive coordinator was already fired earlier in the season. Consider these factors for fantasy, DFS and prop bet purposes and perhaps Marcus Mariota over 30.5 rushing yards is a good play.

Good luck!

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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