Capper Favors Panthers Spread Over Bucs for Week 15 NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Friday, December 12, 2014 1:11 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 1:11 PM UTC

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers collide with the Carolina Panthers in a pivotal NFC South clash in week 15 NFL betting. Here's a late week preview of this game, complete with NFL odds and picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11, 2-5 away)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers are riding a three-game losing streak ahead of this divisional clash, behind losses to Chicago, Cincinnati and Detroit. Overall, this has been a forgettable season for the basement-dwelling Bucs. They can't seem to buy a win no matter how hard they try and they are a subpar 5-8 ATS on the season with an 8.5-point margin of defeat.

Predictably, the Bucs are matched as the quintessential underdogs on the NFL betting floor, tipped at +155 to win SU and as the 3-point road underdogs at late doors. Early NFL betting markets had the Bucs trading at much longer NFL odds to win SU and as high as 5-point road underdogs, but NFL bettors have to consider it a reaction to the news of Cam Newton's car accident that caused the game in its entirety to be re-evaluated by bookmakers.


Carolina Panthers (4-8, 2-4 home)
Derek Anderson has been named the starter for this Sunday's game while Cam Newton recovers from the injuries he sustained in his harrowing car accident on Wednesday. The timing couldn't have been worse for the Panthers as they're after a stellar 41-10 win over the New Orleans Saints in week 14 NFL betting that kept their playoff hopes alive in a wide open NFC South division. It was one of the best games Newton played since week 6 when the Panthers tied the Bengals 37-37 in overtime.

The Panthers opened the season with a 20-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers behind Derek Anderson, who was fulfilling his backup duties while Cam Newton continued to recuperate from an offseason surgery. So, the quarterback change may not have as much of an impact as the odds makers are suggesting by dropping the game down 2-points on the spread. After all, we're talking about a Bucs side whose ailing offense and poorly defense that hardly strike a formidable pose.

Panthers enter this game as the 3-point home chalk and the -175 SU favourites to win. The Panthers are 7-6 ATS this season and 4-2 ATS at home, which includes a 2-1 ATS at home with a 2-point margin of victory when they are matched on favourable NFL odds.


NFL Betting Verdict:
The NFL odds re-evaluation across sportsbook platforms for this game could prove profitable for Carolina backers in week 15 NFL betting. A 3-point spread at home against a team that looms as threatening as a cupcake on the field should be easily handled, especially since the Panthers are coming off a big win against divisional rivals New Orleans Saints. We probably wouldn't have said that last week but that's how quickly things can change in this topsy-turvy division. 

After the show-stopper at the Superdome the Panthers should go into this game brimming with optimism. Not only because their playoff hopes are still kicking and they could even win this division when all is said and done (both Atlanta and New Orleans nosing ahead by just one game), but also because Derek Anderson got the job done against the Bucs in their opener. Granted Cam Newton would have been the better option. But if they are going to be without the services of their franchise quarterback, there's comfort in the knowledge their relying on an alternative that was successful in his previous start. So shade the Panthers on your NFL picks to both win SU and cover.

Free NFL Picks: Panthers -175 and at -3.0 at 5Dimes

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