The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are down to their last chance of making the playoffs this season when they host the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium down in Florida. However, they also tons of outside help to guarantee themselves a place in the postseason so it’s highly-unlikely to happen.
Tampa enters the final week of the season in second place in the NFC South with a record of 8-7 after losing a huge game to New Orleans 31-24 on the road last week. Meanwhile, the Panthers are out of the playoffs at 6-9 on the season and in last place in the division. They were 33-16 losers at home to Atlanta last week. Tampa and Carolina met in Carolina back in week 5 with Tampa winning 17-14.
Panthers vs Buccaneers: bet365 NFL Betting Line:
- Point Spread: bet365 lists the Buccaneers at -6.5 points at 10/11 with the Panthers +6.5 points at 10/11
- Over/under is 46.5 points with both at 10/11
Panthers vs Buccaneers Trends:
- Season record: 6-9 straight up, 5-8-2 against the spread
- Carolina has gone 4-7-2 against the spread in their past 13 contests
- The total has been over in five of Carolina’s past seven road games
- Carolina has gone 2-7 straight up on their past nine road trips
- Carolina has gone 2-8-1 against the spread on their past 11 road outings
- The total has been under in four of Carolina’s past six meetings with Tampa Bay
- Carolina has gone 6-1 in their past seven encounters against Tampa Bay
- The total has been over in nine of Carolina’s past 12 visits to Tampa Bay
- Carolina has gone 4-1 in their past five trips to Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
- Season record: 8-7 straight up and 9-6 against the spread
- The total has been under in four of Tampa Bay’s past six contests
- Tampa Bay has gone 5-2 in their past seven games
- Tampa Bay is 6-18 in their past 24 home games
- Tampa Bay has gone 3-6 ATS in their past nine home outings
- Tampa Bay has gone 1-6 in their past seven meetings with Carolina
- Tampa Bay has gone 2-5 against the spread in their past seven meetings with Carolina
- The total has been under in four of Tampa Bay’s past six games against Carolina
- The total has been over in nine of Tampa Bay’s past 12 home games with Carolina
- Tampa Bay has gone 1-4 in their past five home encounters with Carolina
- Tampa Bay has gone 1-4 against the spread in their past five home games with Carolina
Carolina Panthers – A Closer Look:
After making it as far as the Super Bowl last season, and then losing it to Denver, the Panthers failed to even make the playoffs this campaign. Their 33-16 defeat to Atlanta last week made sure of that, but Cam Newton and the rest of the squad can play the role of spoiler when they head to Tampa on Sunday. Carolina has fared well in Tampa lately with three straight wins and also going 3-0 against the spread. However, if they’re going to make it four in a row they’re going to need to tighten up the defense, especially against the Panthers’ ground attack.
The Panthers conceded 113 rushing yards in their lost to Tampa earlier this season. They also allowed 152 rushing yards against Atlanta last week. Newton will also need to be at his best as he struggled last week by gaining just 198 yards in the air by completing only 18 out of his 43 passing attempts. He managed to toss a touchdown pass, but was also picked off twice. Newton missed the game against Tampa in week 5, with a concussion, so he could make a difference here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A Closer Look:
Tampa has to win this game to make the postseason and hope the results from six other games go their way. It’s not impossible, but highly doubtful. Their 31-24 loss to the Saints last week did a lot of damage and now they don’t control their own destiny. Tampa enters the game with a 3-0 record both straight up and against the spread in their past three home outings, but will also need a better defensive performance. They gave up 417 yards to New Orleans last week and gained 349 of their own. Doug Martin sat out as a healthy scratch and the Bucs managed just 89 yards on the ground.
If Martin sits again against Carolina then there will be a lot of pressure on Jacquizz Rodgers to produce. He had a fine game against the Panthers in week 5 by carrying the ball 30 times for 101 yards. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston will be facing the worst pass defense in the league this weekend as the Panthers concede an average of 273.5 yards against in the air each week. Tampa needs big games from Mike Evans and Brate against Carolina. Evans had seven receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans while Brate has three touchdowns and 218 receiving yards in his past four contests.