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Panthers Listed as 3-Point Dogs vs Falcons After Ron Rivera Firing

Rob Rivera on sideline
The 5-7 Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday
  • The 5-7 Panthers have lost four in a row and five of their last six games
  • Carolina is a three-point underdog in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons

Ron Rivera is out at head coach of the Carolina Panthers. For the second season in a row, the Panthers spiraled downward in a midseason tailspin. This time, it cost Rivera his job.

Losers of four straight and five of their last six games, the final straw for Rivera was Sunday’s 29-21 loss as 10-5-point home favorites to the 2-9 Washington Redskins.

Carolina is 12-16 since David Tepper purchased the franchise in 2018. He indicated that he wasn’t interested in long-term mediocrity.

The firing has already impacted the odds on Sunday’s Panthers-Atlanta Falcons game. Sportsbooks list Atlanta as three-point favorites in the Panthers vs Falcons odds. Atlanta opened as low as the 1.5.-point chalk in some betting lines.

Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Carolina Panthers +135 +3 (-115) Over 47.5 (-110)
Atlanta Falcons -155 -3 (-105) Under 47.5 (-110)

Odds taken Dec. 3.

Secondary coach Perry Fewell was promoted to interim head coach by Carolina.

Rivera Slip Slides Away

At 76-63-1, Rivera is the winningest coach in Panthers history. He guided them to a club-record 15-1 campaign and a berth in Super Bowl 50.

Perhaps that explains how he survived the free fall of 2018.

Last season, Carolina opened 6-2. Then the Panthers lost seven in a row and finished 7-9. Speculation was strong that Rivera was done. Tepper opted to give him another shot.

Again, 2019 began with promise. The Panthers were 4-2 after six games. They’ve won just one game since.

Panthers, Falcons Star In Trading Places

Three weeks ago, when the Falcons whipped Carolina 29-3, there was a coach on the firing line. But that coach was Atlanta’s Dan Quinn, who’d lost six in a row before posting back-to-back wins over the New Orleans Saints and Panthers to save his hide.

The Panthers have lost three home games this season to teams with losing records. They’ve allowed a franchise-worst 22 rushing touchdowns.

Falcons Couldn’t Be Finer Against Carolina

New coach. Old coach. Doesn’t matter. Even good Panthers teams seldom beat the Falcons. And Carolina almost never wins at Atlanta.

The Panthers have lost four straight there, and nine of 11. Carolina is 1-5 against the spread in its last six games at Atlanta. Straight up and ATS, the Panthers are 1-7 in their last eight against the Falcons.

Pick: Atlanta Falcons (-3)

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