Bucs vs. Panthers Prediction

NFL Week 5 Predictions: Tampa Bay Bucs vs. Carolina Panthers 10/10/16

What's the best play for bettors tonight in the Monday Night Football matchup between the Buccaneers and Panthers at 8:30PM ET?

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Panthers are 6-point home favorites versus the Bucs while the over/under currently sits at 45.5 points. While the total hasn't budged, the line has shot up from 4.5 to 6 with 54% of public bettors currently backing the Panthers.

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The Buccaneers enter play tonight with a 1-3 record both straight up and against the spread. They upset the Falcons in Week 1 31-24 as a 2.5-point road underdog but haven't won since, dropping games against the Cardinals (40-7), Rams (37-32), and Broncos (27-7). Those last two loses came at home, so perhaps a trip to Charlotte will focus Dirk Koetter's team.

As for the Panthers, after they evened their record at 1-1 with a 46-27 trouncing of the 49ers in Week 2, they've lost back-to-back games as favorites. They fell 22-10 to the undefeated Vikings as a 6-point favorite two weeks ago and were routed 48-33 by the Falcons as a 2.5-point road favorite last Sunday. The over has cashed in three of Carolina's first four games, with the lone exception coming in that loss to Minnesota in Week 3.

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OUR PREDICTION: Games with backup quarterbacks starting for one side can be unpredictable. Granted, Derek Anderson is one of the better backups in the league and did lead the Panthers on multiple scoring drives last Sunday when Cam Newton left the game with concussion symptoms. That said, the Falcons were in prevent mode, making it easier for Anderson to move the ball up-and-down the field. Instead of banking on Anderson or relying on Jameis Winston to not turn the ball over, the better play is to look at the total. With Gerald McCoy, Doug Martin and Charles Sims doubtful for Tampa, the Bucs' defense will be susceptible to big plays and Winston will need to put the ball in the air plenty with no running game. That will either lead to big plays or turnovers (or both), and allow bettors to cash in the over.



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