Week 4 might be as crucial of a week as the Atlanta Falcons have had in quite some time. Atlanta is a nine-point favorite for NFL picks at home against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, and winning that game might all but lock up the NFC South title already, just a month into the season.
The Falcons have looked the part of one of the best teams in football this year, and they are one of the three that opened up the campaign at 3-0. Two of the three games have been separated by at least 16 points, and none were really ever a serious threat to lose. Last week’s 27-3 win at the San Diego Chargers was one of the more impressive of the campaign to date, regardless of team, as the game came on short rest, clear across the country.
With the New Orleans Saints down at 0-3 and having to go to Lambeau Field this week to take on the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the Washington Redskins, there is a real chance to be three-games up in the NFC South with a dozen to play. That’s the type of margin that just won’t be made up in all likelihood.
Thirty-one has been the magic number for Atlanta in this series against the Panthers, and it’s hard to argue that that might not be the case once again. The Falcons have won each of the last four games in this series from an SU standpoint, and they are 3-1 ATS in those games, and in all four, they scored exactly 31 points. In those four games, QB Matt Ryan threw for eight touchdowns against just one INT, and he has averaged just over 270 YPG through the air.
If Matty Ice can pull off numbers like that once again in Week 4, the Falcons might be on cruise control for the rest of the campaign in the NFC South.