Free Monday Night Football Picks For Week 5 - Buccaneers vs. Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players in action

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, October 6, 2016 8:47 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 8:47 PM UTC

The Bucs travel to Bank of America Stadium to meet the Super Bowl runner-up Carolina Panthers. Both are mired in the cellar of the NFC South but only one will be worthy of inclusion in our NFL picks.

 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers

The Bucs began the season with an impressive 31-24 road win over the Atlanta Falcons and made believers out of all those who included them in their picks as 2 ½ point road dogs. But it has gone south since then as Tampa Bay has suffered three consecutive defeats and must now travel to a hostile environment where they face a disappointing Carolina Panthers team.

The Bucs have been blown out in the desert by the Cardinals, battered at home by the Rams and last week were dominated 27-7 by the Denver Broncos in front of their home crowd. As the losses pile up so too do the injuries with Pro Bowler nose tackle Gerald McCoy (calf), tight end Brandon Myers (hip) and rookie defensive end Noah Spence (shoulder) all out with injuries while still without the services of defensive end Robert Ayres and running back Doug Martin.

The Carolina Panthers have been overvalued by the NFL betting odds makers this season as they have been the most spectacular disappointment of the young season. There is still plenty of time to turn it around but the unknown status of Cam Newton and the concussion he suffered puts a damper on their chances resurrect their season. The Panthers defense was dissected last week by Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense, surrendering an eye-popping 503 passing yards in the 48-33 drilling.

Both teams have extensive injuries as the Panthers may not only miss Newton but also have a banged up offensive line. Add to that the absence of running back Jonathan Stewart and a defense that can’t seem to stop anyone. Carolina is feeling the effects of not signing Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman and the team is now ranked 28th in points allowed, surrendering a whopping 29.5 PPG. To be fair the Bucs are even worse, ranking 31st and allowing 32 points per contest.

In summary, there is a good chance veteran backup Derek Anderson will be at the helm and I don’t see him ratcheting up the points. The Bucs are underrated while the Panthers are still getting action on them based on their superlative 2015 season. There is no line available but when one comes out, make sure and grab the points with the road pup for your NFL week 4 picks.


Free NFL Pick: Bucs
Swinger’s 2016 Record (after Week 4): 11-9

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