NFL Week 8 Pick: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, September 7, 2017 5:26 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 7, 2017 5:26 PM UTC

Always fun when former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks face off as they will here. The Bucs got a rare sweep of the series in 2016. Survivor Pick: Tampa Bay.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2, 44.5)

Go take a look at the NFC South standings. The surprising Saints are on top with a 4-2 record and they are the only team in the division with a positive point differential (+38). The Panthers (4-3) already have lost once at home to New Orleans, so a defeat here could essentially put Carolina three games back of the Saints because I expect New Orleans will win easily on Sunday at home vs. Chicago. Tampa Bay (2-4) was a nine-win team last year and many experts had the Bucs as Atlanta’s top challenger in the South in 2017. But things haven’t gone according to plan for Coach Dirk Koetter’s team. I don’t want to say a loss here ends the Bucs’ playoff hopes, but there’s not exactly a long history of 2-5 teams that have made it. Last year, the Bucs swept the Panthers. It was 17-14 in Carolina on Week 5 on a last-second field goal by Roberto Aguayo (released this offseason). Cam Newton missed that game. Tampa won 17-16 at home in Week 17. The Panthers scored with 17 seconds left, but, admirably, Coach Ron Rivera opted to go for a 2-point conversion since neither team had anything to play for. A Newton pass was incomplete.

  • Favorite is 13-6 ATS in their last 19 meetings.
  • Panthers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC South.
Free NFL Pick: Bucs -2Best Line Offered: Youwager

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Tough call here on the total because Tampa’s defense largely hasn’t been good and Carolina’s has. For example, the Bucs are allowing a whopping 73 percent completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks on third down. That’s the worst in the league. In addition, Tampa has gone from allowing a league-best 34.4 percent third-down conversion percentage last season to a NFL-worst 49.4 percent. Last season, the Bucs forced 29 turnovers. This year, nine. Carolina absolutely dominated last week defensively in Chicago, holding the Bears to 153 yards – 70 of those on one play. But the Panthers lost on two Bears defensive touchdowns. Turnovers have been a problem for Newton. He already has three games with multiple interceptions after having only three all last year. Carolina is hoping for the return of Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly from his concussion.

  • Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
  • Under is 5-1 in Buccaneers last 6 home games.
Free NFL Pick: Under 44.5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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