Buccaneers vs. Panthers Picks: Our Experts’ 4 Favorite Bets for TNF
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Christian McCaffrey
Buccaneers at Panthers Betting Odds
- Spread: Panthers -7
- Over/Under: 49
- Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: NFL Network
All odds above as of Thursday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
The Carolina Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a primetime NFC South showdown on Thursday Night Football.
Which team has the edge coming off Week 1 losses? What should we make of the total?
Let’s dive into our experts’ four favorite picks, including their takes on the spread, the over/under and a player prop.
John Ewing: Buccaneers +7
Jameis Winston had a rough start to the season. He went 20-for-36 for 195 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Two of the picks were returned for touchdowns as the Buccaneers lost 31-17 to the 49ers.
The market is down on Winston and Co. after one bad outing. Only 23% of spread tickets are on Tampa +7 as of writing (see live public data here). The most profitable time to bet against the public is early in the season. Since 2003, teams getting less than 50% of bets have gone 238-190-10 (56%) against the spread in Weeks 1-3.
The Action Network NFL simulations project the Panthers to win by 5.4 points on average — suggesting the line is inflated based on last week’s poor performance.
Winston didn’t play well in Week 1 but wide receiver Mike Evans was under the weather and Winston had two Cameron Brate touchdowns called back. With a healthy supporting cast and better luck, Winston should be able to keep this game competitive.
Scott T. Miller: Cam Newton Under 22.5 Rushing Yards (+115)
Newton is coming off the first negative rushing performance of his career (-2 yards), and it wasn’t a fluke: The ankle injury he suffered in the preseason still doesn’t seem fully healed. I wouldn’t expect him to be drastically healthier for this game, which is being played on a short week.
This, like most QB rushing props, has a pretty wide range of outcomes. Newton could just as easily post 40+ yards on the ground as he could put up 15 or fewer. But generally when our awesome FantasyLabs props tool likes a QB rushing prop, it cashes (62% last season for those with a Bet Quality of 10).
This line has moved a bit — I snagged it earlier in the week at 26.5 (-114) — but it still holds a little value at the prices around the market, which range from 22.5 (+115) to 24.5 (-139) to 25.5 (-143).
Sean Koerner is currently projecting Newton to rush for 20 yards. Given Newton’s health and the fact that the Panthers likely don’t need his rushing prowess to win, I like the Under to cash here more often than not.
Mike Randle: Over 49
All signs point to a shootout between two teams looking to rebound from Week 1 losses.
Tampa Bay’s offense will get a boost with the return of Evans (flu) to full strength. Winston still has one of the best supporting casts in Evans, wide receiver Chris Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard. Running back Ronald Jones (75 rushing yards, 5.8 yards per carry) should also find opportunities against a Panthers defense that allowed 166 rushing yards and 5.2 YPC last week to the Rams.
I expect Cam Newton to rebound from his two-turnover, no-touchdown Week 1 with a strong outing on Thursday. Wide receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel bring speed and big-play ability against a Buccaneers defense that ranked 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA last season.
The second Thursday night game of the season has trended as a high-scoring affair over the past four seasons. The total in three of the past four Thursday night games has exceeded 55 points, with the 2016 game between the Jets and Bills totaling 68 points.
The Panthers ranked second in offensive pace in Week 1, and should start quickly with McCaffrey in line for another huge performance. Bruce Arians will enjoy needing to put up points in this high-scoring NFC South battle.
Sonny Banks: Under 49
I’ll disagree with Randle on this one. The over/under opened at 51 and immediately got hit with under action — for good reason.
This total is really based on the Buccaneers’ defense from last year. While I don’t expect Tampa to be great on D, it’s not a stretch to envision it being better than last year’s team, which ranked in the bottom-three according to most metrics.
Todd Bowles is now the D-coordinator and the additions of free-agent Ndamukong Suh and first-round pick Devin White should help his 3-4 scheme find better success compared to what we saw from Tampa last season.
Bowles’ defense is predicated on pressure and confusion, something that Cam Newton has struggled with in his career.