The Falcons and Panthers are both home favorites as the NFC South rivals face key games this weekend that could determine the direction of their seasons.
Just two weeks ago, the Falcons looked like one of the best teams in the NFC after upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos on the road.
Now the Falcons (4–3) will be trying to avoid their third consecutive loss as they take on the Packers (4–2) in a role in which Atlanta has not been very successful lately, failing to cover the spread when favored in 10 straight games.
Atlanta is a three-point home favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com and has also lost each of the past four meetings straight up with Green Bay. The Packers are just 3–7 against the spread in their last 10 games versus the Falcons, but they will have had some extra time to prepare after drubbing the Bears 26–10 last Thursday. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers got his groove back in the win, passing for a season-high 326 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Another NFC South team in desperate need of a victory is the defending conference champion Panthers (1–5), who are also three-point home favorites as they get set to host the Cardinals (3-3-1) on Sunday. This is a rematch of last year’s NFC title game, in which Carolina destroyed Arizona 49–15 with an identical point spread.
Carolina has won nine of the past 12 meetings, but Arizona has won eight of nine games over teams with losing records. The Cardinals are also only 3–7 against the spread in their last 10 games.
The Seahawks (4-1-1) played Arizona to a tie in Week 7’s Sunday night matchup, and they will stay on the road for Week 8 when they visit the Saints (2–4) as three-point favorites. The favorite has won six of the past eight meetings between the two teams, although New Orleans is 8-0-1 against the spread in its last nine games against teams over .500.
The Patriots (5–1) remain Super Bowl favorites after a 27–16 win over the Steelers last week, and they will get a chance to avenge their lone loss when they visit the Bills (4–3) as six-point chalk. The Patriots have won 11 of the past 12 road matchups with the Bills, going an impressive 9-2-1 against the spread in those games.
The Cowboys (5–1) return from their bye week to host the Eagles (4–2) as 4.5-point favorites on Sunday night. The Cowboys have gone 1–4 against the spread in the past five meetings with Philly, and the visiting team has won six straight in the series.
The Bears (1–5) are expected to have quarterback Jay Cutler back under center as 5.5-point underdogs to the Vikings (5–1) on Monday night. Cutler has been out with a thumb injury but will be pressed back into action after Brian Hoyer suffered a broken arm versus the Packers. The Vikings are coming off their first loss, a 21–10 no-show against the Eagles on the road, and have dropped seven of their last eight meetings in Chicago.