NFL Picks - Bucs & Panthers Limp Into Monday Night

Tampa Bay Buccaneers player in action

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2016 8:26 PM UTC

Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 8:26 PM UTC

The Bucs will travel to Charlotte to take on the Panthers, with Cam Newton’s status questionable, on Monday night. Let’s review the total that the NFL odds makers are hanging on this one.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers  

Here we have a couple of teams with lousy defenses, one of which is surprising because Carolina was tough as nails last season but made a big mistake when they let Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman walk away. Injuries have decimated both teams but while a 1-3 start is not exactly a shocking beginning for the Bucs, it is thoroughly stunning for last year’s Super Bowl runner-ups.

A big part of the reason Carolina has won only one of four is a defense that is ranked 28th in points allowed, surrendering 29.5 points per game. Their opponents on Monday night, the Tampa Bay Bucs have fared even worse, allowing 32 points per game which places them 31st in the league. The status of last season’s league MVP, Cam Newton, is questionable as he is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and has yet to be cleared after getting walloped in last week’s game.

Veteran Derek Anderson will start in Newton’s place if he remains sidelined and that means the Carolina offense will be far more predictable. I would also submit that even if Newton does suit up he won’t be rolling out and running for the first down marker. Carolina will want him to either handoff or drop back but above all, keep his uniform clean. Yet, the reports that are surfacing continue to hint that Anderson will be under center and if that is the case look for Carolina to emphasize their ground attack that is currently ranked 8th in the league, averaging 121.8 rushing yards per game.

As for the Bucs, I don’t believe they are going to light up the scoreboard. They have several key injuries, most notably to running back Doug Martin who will most likely stay sidelined. Backup Charles Sims has been merely serviceable in his stead but it appears as though a knee injury will keep him on the shelf for Monday night. Therefore, the duo of Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber will take over the ground assault.

The NFL odds makers are hanging a reasonable number of 46 on this contest and the squares will be lickin’ their chops to go over in their NFL week 5 picks in this one because both games between these two divisional rivals did in fact, go over last season. But this is not last season and both offenses are banged up. I believe this will be a lackluster Monday night contest between two ailing clubs that will play not to lose rather than to win. The Bucs rank 25th in points scored, averaging 19.3 PPG, and I don’t see that number improving after Monday night. Go low and grab the dough.


Free NFL Pick: Under 46 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker
Swinger’s 2016 Record (after Week 4): 11-9

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