NFL Free Pick: TB/CAR

The Monday Night Football matchup is arguably the best game of the week and features two teams fighting for first place in the NFC South as the Carolina Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Ravens -5 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 35.5 total points.

Key Trend: Tampa Bay is 4-2 against the spread in its last six games when playing Carolina, while the under has hit in 11 of the Bucs last 16 games when playing the Panthers.

Key Stat: The Bucs are stifling opponents’ offenses this season, allowing just 16.7 points per game, 184.1 passing yards per game and 95.4 rushing yards per game. The Panthers, meanwhile, are allowing 112.8 yards a game on the ground this year and only 192.3 passing yards a game on offense.

Game Outlook: The Bucs match up very well with their NFC South rivals, especially on defense. Tampa might have the fourth best defense in the league statistically, but arguably the best defense in the NFC. Carolina won impressively at Lambeau Field last week, but they struggled for three games prior to that and their defense has not played as well as they did earlier in the year. Jeff Garcia doesn’t make many mistakes and while Tampa doesn’t have the most explosive offense in the league, they move the ball well, build leads and rely on their defense to win games. We like the Bucs to win outright.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 14 matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers game is

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +3

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

Carolina Panthers 17

We also predict that this game will GO UNDER THE TOTAL (35.5 Sportsbook.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/8/08 11:00AM ET

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