Carolina at Tampa Bay Week 17 Betting Pick & Spread

Posted by Peter Boysen on December 28, 2016 in

The Carolina Panthers (6-9) have gone through a shocking collapse from their status as NFC Champions a year ago, and they look to bring this campaign to a close on Sunday when they visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7). Tampa Bay just saw their playoff hopes take a major dynamiting when they lost to the Saints on the road last week, 31-24, and now they need about nine things to happen on Sunday to make it in — including a win over these Panthers. Carolina lost at home to the Atlanta Falcons last week, 33-16. When these two teams met earlier in the season, Tampa Bay pulled off a big road win over the Panthers, 17-14. You can find all of our NFL odds for Week 17 and the playoffs beyond as you line up your wagers.

Carolina at Tampa Bay Week 17 Betting Pick & Spread

When: Sunday, January 1, 2017, 1:00pm ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
TV: FOX
Radio: Carolina / Tampa Bay
Live Stream: NFL Live
NFL Odds: Tampa Bay (-6.5), O/U 46.5

Why should you bet on the Panthers?

Carolina is basically playing for pride now — it would be irresponsible to blame the loss of Josh Norman through free agency for all of the Panthers’ woes, as this was a team that showed a true Super Bowl hangover, getting off to a 1-5 start. They have won two of their last three but took a real pasting from Atlanta last week, as the Falcons took the NFC South. Cam Newton has also looked much less like a dominant quarterback this season, and this continued against the Falcons, as he went just 18 for 43 for 198 yards and a score — but also two interceptions. A rift has clearly grown between Newton and head coach Ron Rivera, as Newton’s recent benching for not wearing a necktie on the team bus was certainly not the first sign of friction between the two. If you like the Panthers even to cover this game, you look for them to draw motivation from the possibility to eliminate the Buccaneers from the playoffs and avenge that home loss from earlier this season.

Why should you put your money on the Buccaneers?

Tampa Bay has had a terrific second half of the season, as they hit the halfway point sitting at 3-5 but then knocked off such powerhouses as the Kansas City Chiefs (on the road!) and the Seattle Seahawks. Losses to Dallas and New Orleans the last two weeks have pushed them back into the fringes of the NFC playoff race. Even so, this was a team that improved mightily in quarterback Jameis Winston’s second season; he went 23 for 35 for 277 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It was the defense that let the Buccaneers down against New Orleans, who does feature a powerhouse passing offense of their own but has a lot of defensive issues of their own. If you like Tampa Bay, then you believe they can rise up and play a dominant game against Carolina even though they need so many things to happen in other games for them to reach the postseason.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

Just when the Carolina Panthers look like they have given up, they will rise up and play a huge game and pull off a big win. However, the Buccaneers have earned some respect with some of the performances they have pulled off this year. I like them to put the last nail into the coffin of this lost Panthers’ season with a 30-20 win.