Given how well the Carolina Panthers (8-3, 4-1 home) have accounted this season, it comes as no surprise that they are the heavy favourites to win SU at -360 at Bet365 and that the line on offer is greater than a touchdown. That said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ((3-8, 1-4 away) aren’t as bad as their record on the season suggests they are. Seriously they aren’t. They very nearly beat the Hawks in their fortress last month.
Freeman’s departure was a messy distraction but that finally seems to behind them now. Mike Glennon is finally settling into his starting role, the Bucs are thriving under their rookie. A win-win situation apparently. Actually, since that near victory in Seattle, which they lost 27-24 in overtime, Bucs have been an entirely different team, snapping an eight-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak, beating Miami, Atlanta and Detroit during that run. More importantly, they’ve kept games rather close on the scoreboard. So close that it would seem that the seven-point spread is too high.
Beating Cam Newton and his Panthers on Sunday is a tall order for Tampa at +280 NFL odds, but it’s not entirely impossible. We’ve had tons of surprises this season with our NFL betting picks and well there is no denying that the Bucs are looking a whole lot better than they did a month ago and have momentum going into this game.
Keep in mind the pressure is going to be entirely on Cam Newton’s shoulders as he attempts to lead Panthers to a record-making eighth straight win. While the Bucs have pride to play for and well, the chance to be party-poopers and deny the Panthers an eighth straight win. Something that would be fitting retribution for the 31-13 thrashing they received at home to the Panthers on October 24.
NFL Betting Verdict: You know, the more we think on it the more we like the idea of Bucs winning. It’s totally against the natural order of things, a quantum shift in perception. It’s a long shot as well though, so don’t go betting the farm. The safer NFL pick is the Bucs to cover.
NFL Picks: Bucs to cover
Jacksonville Jaguars +7.0 @ Cleveland Browns -7.0
Sportsbooks have gone to press with some ridiculous and crazy spreads where Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9, 2-4 away) were involved this season, so ridiculous it just seemed impossible they wouldn’t cover. Yet despite common reason, they actually didn’t. Persisting (almost intentionally it would seem to defy us on our NFL spread picks) each and every time to prove just how bad they can really be: 28-2, 37-3, 24-6 are just some of their worst defeats this season. That should tell us something. Step away from Jacksonville. Hmmm. And so we are. We’re going with the Browns across the board.
For a change this is a rather understated spread of seven-points, entirely down to the Cleveland Browns (4-7, 3-3 home) and sportsbooks’ perception of their quality. Clearly, they don’t feel strongly about Cleveland’s ability to runaway on the scoreboard as some of the other teams have done. We think otherwise because every game they lost they did so by ten or more points. That’s what we’re hanging our hat on here – not much, but do you really need more than that where the Jaguars are concerned.
NFL Picks: Browns to win SU and cover