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Cappers Panthers vs. Bucs Betting Trends + Pick

Perplexing Buccaneers Look to Tame Surprising Panthers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS, 3-2 O/U), have a winning record after five games but are coming off a dismal 16-13 road loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the BetUS Sportsbook.

The Carolina Panthers (4-1 SU, 3-1-1 ATS, 1-4 O/U), on the other hand, have won and covered the spread in two straight games, including Sunday’s 34-0 home blowout of the abysmal Kansas City Chiefs.

Now the teams will hook up with NFC South divisional bragging rights on the line on Sunday when the Bucs host Carolina at Raymond James Stadium at 1 pm ET.

The Buccaneers have been a tough team to get a handle on in the early going, dropping their season-opener before winning three straight games and following that up with Sunday’s poor offensive showing despite playing against the defensively challenged Denver Broncos.

While Tampa Bay’s excellent defensive unit held the high-powered Broncos to just 16 points in the loss, the team’s offense left a lot to be desired under both quarterbacks that took the field for the franchise.

Starting quarterback Brian Griese completed 13 of 19 passes for 88 yards before getting injured in the third quarter and watching backup Jeff Garcia complete 13 of 17 passes for 93 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

While veteran running back Warrick Dunn had an impressive game, rushing for 74 yards on just 11 carries, The Bucs were unable to get in the end zone until late in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.

A similar performance against the defensive-minded Panthers will likely result in another loss as Carolina has jumped right back into NFC title contention despite the fact that not many analysts or handicappers expected much from the Panthers this season.

Carolina moved to a solid 4-1 in a cakewalk win over the lowly Chiefs as quarterback Jake Delhomme completed 14 of 22 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns while running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for 123 and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

While Carolina’s offense has been solidified by the return of Delhomme who missed nearly all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, it is Carolina’s stiff defense that has really succeeded, ranking fourth in total yards allowed, third in passing yards per game, (156.0) and fourth in scoring defense, limiting their opponents to just 14.0 points per game.

While the Bucs have recorded slightly better offensive statistics, Tampa Bay’s pass defense is ranked just 21st overall, allowing 218.6 yards per game. Still, the Bucs have managed to stay in the top 10 in scoring defense, giving up just 18.8 points per game.

Here is a look at the key trends for each team followed by my analysis and NFL Free Picks.

Panthers

Carolina is 6-1-1 ATS in its last 8 games
Carolina is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Carolina’s last 5 games
Carolina is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
Carolina is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Carolina is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games on the road
Carolina is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Carolina’s last 5 games on the road

Buccaneers

Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Tampa Bay’s last 11 games
Tampa Bay is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games at home
Tampa Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home
Tampa Bay is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games when playing Carolina
Tampa Bay is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing Carolina
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Tampa Bay’s last 15 games when playing Carolina
Tampa Bay is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Carolina

NFL Odds

Carolina Panthers +1 -110
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1 -110

Over 36½ -110
Under 36½ -110

Analysis: I’ll be honest and admit that this ATS pick is a bit of a tough call because of the parity of the two teams in this matchup. In the end, I’m going with the visiting Carolina Panthers to win this game outright as they get after Griese or Garcia with their powerful defense and force an interception or two from whichever quarterback is under center for Tampa Bay.

This game has the classic look of a narrow field goal win and that’s exactly what I see happening here.

I also want to advise my beloved BetUS NFL Sportsbook bettors to take the ‘Under’ in this matchup as both teams may not see the end zone much in this matchup!

NFL Free Picks: Panthers 17 Buccaneers 14

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