Panthers vs. Buccaneers Picks: How Our Experts Are Betting the Spread in London
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston, Chris Godwin
Panthers vs. Buccaneers Picks
- Odds: Panthers -2.5
- Over/Under: 47
- Kickoff: 9:30 a.m. ET
- TV Channel: NFL Network
Odds as of Saturday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
The Panthers and Buccaneers take their NFC South rivalry across the pond for an early Sunday showdown in London.
The Bucs took the first meeting, with a 20-14 win over a hampered Cam Newton in Week 2. Now the Panthers trot out Kyle Allen for his fourth straight start. Can they even the season series and cover as small neutral-field favorites? Or will the Buccaneers pull out the upset?
Two of our NFL betting experts — Sonny Banks and John Ewing — make their picks for this matchup.
Sonny Banks: Panthers -2.5
The travel schedule for this London game is interesting. Historically, it has been a disadvantage to fly out later in the week.
In this case, Carolina is flying out early, while the Bucs are scheduled to arrive on Friday. In Week 2 when these teams first played, we saw the game script play into the Bucs’ strength of defending the run, where they rank No. 1 in the league.
In that game, Christian McCaffrey was limited to 37 yards on the ground and an inaccurate (and likely injured) Cam Newton was unable to lead his team through the air. I expect this game to play out differently with Kyle Allen being in a better position to take advantage of the Bucs’ 22nd-ranked pass defense.
Allen has been good enough in the past two weeks against slightly better pass defenses and the Bucs grade even lower individually in their secondary. If Allen can rectify his fumbling issues, I think he will have success moving the ball.
I like the Panthers up to -3 in this matchup.
John Ewing: Buccaneers +2.5
I’m gonna disagree with Sonny here.
The Panthers have won three in a row, and McCaffrey has been a big part of their success. Carolina’s stud running back leads the league in rushing (587 yards) and is 10-1 to win the MVP.
The Panthers have played well lately, but are we sure they’re good?
Despite McCaffrey’s heroics, their offense ranks 21st in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA. A win is a win, but during their hot streak, one victory came over the Cardinals and the other two were decided by seven or fewer points.
More than 60% of bets are on Carolina as of writing (see live public betting data here), but history says the Bucs have value. Since 2003, it’s been profitable to bet against teams with a winning record early in the season that didn’t make the playoffs the year before, like the Panthers.
Given my colleague Sean Koerner’s 1.5-point projected spread for this game, it’s fair to say this line is inflated. I’d bet the Buccaneers at any plus-money odds.