This game is being held in London and the Panthers are a slight two-point favorite with a total sitting at 48.
The public has been backing the Panthers in this game across the pond, as this game opened as a Pick and as of Tuesday, they are two-point favorites.
The Panthers have won three in a row and they have done so with backup QB Kyle Allen. Cam Newton is still out so the undrafted Allen will likely get the call in this NFC South matchup.
The Bucs have flipped between wins and losses this season and in their last game they lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-24. While the team has the offense, their defense has been the major issue ranking 26thin the NFL in yards allowed per game.
This is the 2nd game already between these division rivals and in the first game in Week 2 in Carolina the Bucs beat the Panthers 20-14, which was Tampa Bay’s best game on defense.
The underdog has covered the spread in six of the last seven games between these teams.
It Helps to Have the #1 RB in the Backfield
In their last game the Panthers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-24 where Carolina RB Christian McCaffery, who leads the league in rushing yards, rushed for 176 yards with two TD.
The Panthers did not have a great defensive game giving up 507 yards, they gained 445 yards, but they forced three turnovers and did not commit any.
McCaffery not only rushed for 176 yards but also had six catches for 61 yards with a TD. McCaffery dealt with cramps at the end of the game and is listed as questionable but he will go in this game.
Allen passed for 181 yards with a TD and no INT in the Jax game and while he has not put up huge numbers, he has five TD and has not been picked off.
With Newton out Carolina has had McCaffery carry the load on offense. While Tampa Bay ranks dead last in the league in passing defense, they rank 2nd in the league in run defense.
Repeat Week 2 Performance
The Bucs need to repeat their Week 2 performance beating the Panthers where they held McCaffery in check to the tune of only 37 rushing yards.
The Tampa run defense was not bad in their last game in the 31-24 loss to the Saints, but they gave up 345 passing yards and three passing TD. For the game they were outgained 457 yards to 252 yards and were only 3/11 on 3rd down.
Jameis Winston passed for 204 yards with two TD and no picks but he was on the run all game and was sacked six times. Chris Goodwin did most of the work on the outside with 125 receiving yards while the next leading Tampa target was Dare Ogunbowale and he only had 27 receiving yards.
The Carolina defense was, obviously, not overly impressive in the last game giving up over 500 yards and on the season, they rank a legit 8th in the league defending the run but only 24th defending the pass.
The road team has the much better ATS in the last several seasons between these teams and while the Panthers are, technically, the road team in this game it is being held in London.
Not a lot of offensive fireworks in the last several games between these teams, as in the last six games between them the total has gone Under five times.
The Panthers are only 1-5 ATS in their last six games facing a team with a winning record while the Bucs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games following a loss.
The Panthers are the favorites and have won three straight but look for the Bucs to give them trouble. Winston can air it out with several solid targets and the run defense shut down McCaffery in the game earlier this season. This game will be close across the pond and the Bucs will not only cover the spread but get the win as well snapping Carolina’s three-game win streak.
PICK: Buccaneers +2