Buccaneers vs Panthers NFL Betting Overview
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head north to Bank of America Stadium this Sunday to take on the Carolina Panthers at 4:25pm Eastern time. The Buccaneers looked like a potential wild card at one point but have only won one game in their last five (1-4 ATS as well). This week they are NFL betting 12-point underdogs, with an over/under total of 47 points. The Panthers are smarting from their first loss of the season as they fell in Atlanta last week.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 29, 2015
Why should you take the Panthers (-12)?
The Panthers showed a lack of focus in their Week 15 win over the New York Giants, allowing a 35-7 lead to become a 35-35 game late before the Panthers booted a field goal as time expired. Ron Rivera harped on focus after the game in the locker room, but it doesn’t look like the Panthers were listening that much as the team then went out and got outplayed by Atlanta. I don’t expect them to ignore that lesson again, so look for Carolina to be firing on all cylinders at home and take that #1 seed for the NFC playoffs. The Panthers won by 14 in Tampa back on October 4, as Jameis Winston threw four interceptions.
Why should you pick the Bucs (+12)?
This is the third-biggest point spread the Bucs have faced as the underdog since 2010. Winston has improved in his quarterback play as the season has moved on, even though the wins have not been lining up like the team would like. As much fun as Cam Newton has been having this season, it still didn’t look like he was taking things seriously against the Falcons last week. If the team is already in cruise control mode, that could lead to a narrow win — or even another loss — against a Tampa Bay team that is all too willing to pounce on the mistakes of the opposition.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I think the Panthers will seal up win #15 and take that top seed with them, but I don’t think they will dominate the Buccaneers. Look for Carolina to win 21-13 — but not to cover. Also, consider taking the under, as I don’t see this game getting close to 47 points.