NFL Week 11 Picks: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
Ron Rivera desperately needs a win, as the Carolina Panthers (2-7) get ready to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) on Sunday afternoon at Bank of American Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
Rivera's seat is certainly getting warm in Charlotte, considering Carolina has taken a step backward this year after finishing the 2011 campaign with four wins in its final six games.
Let's take a closer look at this NFC South divisional matchup from a betting perspective, while offering a prediction on the total along the way.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the NFL in allowing just 80.1 rushing yards per game, which could play a major role in determining the winner of this matchup.
First-year head coach Greg Schiano watched his team capture a 16-10 season-opening victory over the Carolina Panthers as three-point home underdogs on Sept. 9, as it finished that contest with a 130-10 edge in yards on the ground.
Sports bettors need to be careful in laying the points in this one, considering the Buccaneers are 3-11-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 15 tries as road favorites.
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The Carolina Panthers have averaged just 15.5 points per game against teams that rank in the upper half of the league in rushing defense, which signals another low-scoring output for Cam Newton and the offense versus this week's opponent.
Total players will also find that the UNDER is 5-1 in Panthers games this year when the point spread is between plus-three and minus-three.
Las Vegas Perspective
I reached out to Jimmy Vaccaro earlier this week about this high-profile affair. He serves as the public relations director for William Hill U.S., and here's what he had to say:
Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin is making some people forget about how bad Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has been. Got to stay with the hot team in this one.
I'm going to recommend that readers play this game to go UNDER the total, as the Carolina Panthers have fallen short of the number in all five games in the Ron Rivera era when playing the second of back-to-back home games.
NFL Week 11 Pick: Under 49