Panthers Try to Block Out Distractions in Playoff Quest
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are kind of limping to the finish line, although we guess they should be commended for a decent effort at home last time out against the Atlanta Falcons. But this is a team with a lot of inherent problems, and on Sunday they will be facing a Carolina Panthers team that may be distracted a little at the moment, but should be sufficiently focused in their drive for playoff spot. These teams get together at 1 PM ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, and while Fox Network is televising the game on a regional basis, VietBet customers can watch it live and place their wagers in real-time, utilizing state-of-the-art software from Live Betting Ultra.
Buccaneers vs Panthers Odds – Pro Football Betting Line:
In the odds at VietBet upon which will make our NFL picks in this one, Carolina is a considerable favorite:
Carolina Panthers -10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +10
Over 46.5 points -110
Under 46.5 points -110
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Buccaneers vs Panthers Odds – NFL Betting Preview
The Bucs have had some controversy lately, as reportedly there is a bit of a tiff going on between head coach Dirk Koetter and his quarterback, Jameis Winston, with some players being quoted anonymously, criticizing the staff for play-calling they deemed too predictable. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken has denied that there’s really a problem at all, and that no one is as solidly behind Winston as Koetter is. But is that the other way around? It’s a choice between the two, you know who’s going, and the rumors filling up the newspapers are that Jon Gruden might consider coming back into the fold as head coach.
The Panthers are actually tied with the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South lead, although they would lose that tiebreaker on the basis of dropping both decisions the Saints this season. But the headlines lately in Charlotte have involved the sexual harassment allegations against owner Jerry Richardson, which have prompted him to announce the sale of the team after the season is over. For now, he is stepping away from team operations, and in what has to be described as a move that is reactionary, they have promoted former cheerleader Tina Becker to Chief Operating Officer. In news that probably has a little more impact on the field itself, linebacker Thomas Davis, one of the best in the business, has been suspended for a game (this one) for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay’s Davante Adams.
Tampa Bay, which has been effectively out of the playoff race for some time now, is 4-10 straight-up and 4-9-1 against the spread. Carolina is 10-4 straight-up and 9-5 ATS.
The Buccaneers have been plagued by a substandard running game this season, and you have to check the status of Doug Martin, who was shelved for last Monday’s game against Atlanta because of team “rules violations.” Peyton Barber has essentially been handling the duties in the backfield. Winston had a terrific game last time out, with 299 yards, three touchdowns and a 130.5 quarterback rating, the second-best of his career. But there are definitely some injury questions surrounding this team. Gerald McCoy was kept that of the last game with a biceps injury, and LaVonte David, the outstanding linebacker, is nursing a bad hamstring. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson limped off with an ankle injury and was sporting crutches after the game, and the same thing can be said for tight end O.J. Howard. Linebacker Adarius Glanton broke his leg. So needless to say, they are banged up going into this one.
VietBet patrons had to be somewhat impressed by the Carolina defense last Sunday, as they intercepted Aaron Rodgers three times in a 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Cam Newton threw four touchdown passes and Christian McCaffrey continued his impressive rookie season with 136 yards from scrimmage. McCaffrey leads all running backs with 73 catches for 592 yards, and might just be in the Rookie of the Year discussion. And one VERY encouraging thing was the play of tight end Greg Olsen, who had gone without a catch two weeks agoin his return against Minnesota, when his bad foot flared up on him, but grabbed nine passes for 116 yards last Sunday. The Panthers are running the ball better as well, averaging 174 yards over their last seven games. If it’s one side or the other, you’ve got to move with Carolina here.
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By Charles Jay