Buccaneers vs Panthers Prediction, Odds | NFL Week 13 Betting Pick

Buccaneers vs Panthers Prediction, Odds | NFL Week 13 Betting Pick article feature image

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Buccaneers vs Panthers Odds, Prediction

Sunday, Dec. 3
4:05 p.m. ET
Buccaneers Odds
-110o / -110u
Panthers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The latest Buccaneers vs. Panthers odds for NFL Week 13 have Tampa Bay installed as 3.5-point favorites on the spread with an over/under of 36.5 or 37, depending on the book. The total for this NFC South clash is my NFL pick.

Carolina’s ownership cleaned house this week as head coach Frank Reich and the entire offensive staff were fired. This was not a huge surprise considering the Panthers have not been involved in a game going over the posted total since Week 6. Now with the notoriously conservative Jim Caldwell acting as special advisor to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, I don’t expect points to suddenly be scored at a rapid pace in any game Carolina plays in.

Let's dive into my betting preview for this NFC South rivalry game and get into my Buccaneers vs. Panthers prediction.

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Buccaneers vs Panthers Pick

Pick: Under 36.5 (-110)

Buccaneers vs. Panthers

Matchup Analysis

The Panthers offense is last in the NFL in yards per play, averaging an abysmal 4.1 yards per snap on offense. According to ESPN, their team pass block win rate ranks 24th and their run block win rate ranks 31st. To say it is a struggle for Carolina to sustain offense is an understatement.

As a team, the Panthers have only 21 explosive passing plays of 20-plus yards the entire season, the second-fewest league wide. Bryce Young does not trust his O-line, and he does not have the weapons to confidently pull the trigger on throws downfield.

Young’s average depth of target this season is 6.3. To put that into context, that is a full yard below the aDOT of Desmond Ridder (7.9), Zach Wilson (7.6) and Mac Jones (7.2). 

Tampa Bay's defense is a zone-heavy scheme and one of the most aggressive units under Todd Bowles. Bowles sends pressure at the third-highest rate in the NFL. This is a recipe for disaster for a Carolina offensive line that struggles to protect. The Panthers offense has an adjusted sack rate of 10.1%, fifth worst when factoring in batted passes and intentional grounding penalties.

Young has not dealt with pressure well this season. Through 10 games, Young has faced pressure on 38.8% of his attempts. More importantly, 25.5% of those pressures have turned into sacks.

Out of all quarterbacks with significant playing time this season, only Sam Howell turns pressures into sacks at a higher rate. Young’s passer rating under duress is 40.0, down from 90.7 when kept clean.

Make Your Bucs vs. Panthers Picks at FanDuel

Buccaneers -3.5 (-115)

Panthers +3.5 (-105)

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The Buccaneers offense is banged up — Chris Godwin is set to miss this game and Baker Mayfield is going to play at less than 100% after leaving last week’s game for a short period. This is not the type of game environment where the Bucs' passing attack will thrive.

According to Sharp Football, the Panthers defense has allowed a league-low 5.4 yards per attempt and 8.4 yards per completion since Week 8. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider they've faced the likes of Dak Prescott and C.J. Stroud during that span without the aid of a functional offense that can give them a breather.

All of the defensive attention will be focused on limiting Mike Evans, thus the Bucs must methodically move the ball down the field if they are going to have sustained success.

The success of both offenses will be predicated on the running game as I expect conservative game plans. The Bucs will want to try and protect Mayfield’s injured ankle, while also exploiting a Panthers front seven surrendering 4.78 adjusted line yards per attempt. Carolina’s rush defense ranks 32nd in DVOA, but does allow an explosive run at a respectable rate of 5.2%.

The matchup is there for the Bucs to stick with the running game by way of long drives that chew up large chunks of clock each quarter. The Panthers defense has created a turnover on just 5% of opponent possessions, the lowest rate in the league. There is no reason to expect sudden changes in this game that result in a spurt of points from either offense.

Buccaneers vs. Panthers

Betting Picks & Predictions

Tampa Bay home games have averaged a combined 32.2 points per game this season, creating the perfect game environment for another divisional under.

Furthermore, games in which the total has been 37 or less have cashed tickets on the under at an incredible 84.6% rate since the beginning of 2020. Baker Mayfield-led teams have been involved in games going under the total at a 75% rate in his last 16 starts.

The metrics and trends line up perfectly here to see another low-scoring grind.

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