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Buccaneers vs. Panthers Gambling Preview/Prediction

NFL: BUCS LOOK TO END STREAK

The Carolina Panthers are a perfect 6-0 at home this season but they are far from a lock on Monday Night Football as they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This NFC South showdown starts at 8:30 pm ET game on ESPN and the winner will be in sole possession of first place in the division when it’s done.

The Panthers are holding steady as three-point favorites, and just over half (51%) the betting public is backing them.

Carolina is 9-3 on the season and had one of the biggest wins in the NFL last week at Green Bay, 35-31. The Panthers were only 2-3 on the road before that game and the critics were questioning their toughness after losing 45-28 at Atlanta the week before.

The Panthers were out-gained 438-300 in total yardage against the Pack, but they were able to run for 130 yards and capitalize on some key Green Bay mistakes to sneak out the win.

Carolina will feature the run game this week with their tandem of DeAngelo Williams and rookie Jonathan Stewart. Williams only gained 27 yards in the first meeting between the teams, but he is averaging over 100 yards per game in the six games since.

The Panthers have reverted back to their old smash-mouth style of offensive football after quarterback Jake Delhomme had a couple of terrible games at Tampa and Oakland, throwing for seven picks in the two contests.

Tampa Bay (9-3) is on a four-game winning streak after their 23-20 home win over New Orleans. It was another great effort by the Tampa Bay pass defense which picked off Drew Brees three times and ranks third in the NFL. Tampa is ninth in the NFL against the run with just 95.4 yards allowed per game.

The Bucs’ offense is not nearly as potent as their defense, but veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia usually does just enough to win. His 92.5 quarterback rating is sixth in the NFL. The Tampa running game needs a boost with Warrick Dunn being forced to carry too much of the load with Earnest Graham out for the year, and that puts a big burden on Garcia to win this game.

This is a big game for both teams but bigger for Carolina as they already lost at Tampa Bay 27-3 back in October. That means the Bucs will own a one-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win.

Also note that despite Carolina’s 6-0 record at home straight up, they are only 3-2-1 ATS there after failing to cover their last two against Arizona and Detroit. Tampa Bay has been up and down on the road this year at 3-3 straight-up and ATS.

In addition to the game and Total wagering, we also have our Primetime Prop for this contest. Wager on the “Player to Score 1st TD” prop for this game and if your selection fails to score the first TD of the game, but proceeds to score at least two touchdowns in the game, your wager will be refunded, up to $100.00.

This same Primetime Prop hit Thursday night when San Diego Chargers’ running back Darren Sproles scored two touchdowns in their win over Oakland on Thursday.

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