Panthers vs. Bucs Pick
With the Panthers banged-up on offense, will their game fall under the total on Sunday when they visit the Bucs at 1:00PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Bucs are 5-point home favorites versus the Panthers after opening as a 3.5-point favorite. As for the total, the number hit the board at 47.5 and has been bet down to 46 at the majority of sports books.
As of this writing it's not clear whether or not Cam Newton will play on Sunday. He was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and the team might decide to hold him out of a meaningless game for Carolina. Jonathan Stewart also missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday due to a foot injury and could be held out as well. Tight end Greg Olsen didn't practice on Thursday due to a elbow injury.
Doug Martin was suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. It was later revealed that Martin tested positive for Adderall, which is considering a PED when taken during the season. With Charles Sims being placed on injured reserve with a pec injury, leaving Jacquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber and Russell Hansbrough as the Bucs' active running backs.
OUR PREDICTION: This is a tough game to call with how many injuries the Panthers are battling on offense, but I'll assume Newton is going to start for Carolina. If that's the case, I like the over, which is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings between these two teams in Tampa. The Bucs will be plenty motivated in this one because their slim playoff hopes are still alive and the team can finish with a winning record in Dirk Koetter's first season. The over is 5-2 in the Panthers' last seven road games and is 8-2 in the Bucs' last 10 games coming off a loss.
NFL WEEK 17 PREDICTION: PANTHERS/BUCS OVER 46