Buccaneers vs. Panthers: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Buccaneers vs. Panthers: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
J. Meric/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) and Carolina Panthers (2-7), who meet for the second time this season at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on Sunday afternoon, have both shocked the football world thus far in 2012.

Carolina, behind dynamic QB Cam Newton, was supposed to be the up-and-coming team to watch out for in 2012 while the Bucs, with a new head coach in Greg Schiano and a disappointing QB in Josh Freeman, were supposed to be toiling in the basement of the NFL for the second straight season.

While the Panthers have no shot at making the playoffs this season, Tampa Bay is alive and well in the hunt for a wild-card berth but are fighting off a charging New Orleans Saints squad for second place in the NFC South and cannot afford a loss at this point in the season.

Here's everything you need to know heading into Sunday's divisional showdown.

 

When: Sunday, Nov 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

Watch: FOX

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket Max

Listen: WFUS 103.5 FM/ WDAE 620 AM (Tampa Bay), WBT 1110 AM (Carolina)

 

Spread: Tampa Bay -1 (According to Covers.com)

While Tampa Bay has a 2-2 record on the road this season, they are 7-2 against the spread.

The Bucs have won three games in a row while the Panthers have lost three of their four games since a Week 6 bye.

Tampa has simply played better football over the past month than Carolina has, and that's why I like the Bucs giving a point on the road.

Who Do You Like?

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Over/Under: 48.5 (According to Covers.com)

Believe it or not, only three teams in the NFL—the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and New York Giants—are averaging more than the 28.9 points per game that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dropping on a weekly basis.

Carolina's offense trails well behind Tampa's, putting up only 18.1 points per game, a number that puts them 27th out of 32 teams in the league.

Their first meeting saw a total of 26 points be scored, but these are different teams than they were back then.

 

Who Might Not Play for the Buccaneers

*Injury report via USA Today as of 11/16/12

Position

Player

Injury

Status

DB

Eric Wright

Ankle

Questionable

WR

Arrelious Benn

Shoulder

Questionable

S

Cody Grimm

Hamstring

Questionable

 

 

Who Might Not Play for the Panthers

*Injury report via USA Today as of 11/16/12

Position

Player

Injury

Status

WR

Armanti Edwards

Groin

Questionable

DT

Dwan Edwards

Ankle

Questionable

C

Geoff Hangartner

Knee

Questionable

G

Amini Silatolu

Shoulder

Questionable

DE

Antwan Applewhite

Thigh

Questionable

T

Lee Ziemba

Suspension

Out

 

 

Fantasy Start 'Em: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Doug Martin's first taste of regular season NFL action came against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, and while he was kept out of the end zone, he carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards and added four receptions for an additional 24 yards to his totals on the day.

Carolina is allowing 113 rushing yards per game on the season, a number that ranks 16th in the NFL—not great, not terrible.

But Martin is a better running back now than he was back then, and he'll find success going up against a Panthers defense that has allowed three running backs to eclipse the 100-yard mark in 2012.

 

Fantasy Sit 'Em: Jonathan Stewart/D'Angelo Williams, RBs, Carolina

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Tampa Bay's defense has been the best in the league at stuffing the run, allowing only 80.1 yards per game and holding opponents to 3.5 yards per carry.

Carolina's running back-by-committee approach made Stewart and Williams questionable starts on a weekly basis to begin with; but going up against Tampa Bay's front seven, I'm not letting either one of them near the starting lineup of my fantasy squad if I've got them.

 

Prediction: Tampa Bay 28, Carolina 17

Cam Newton has been far too inconsistent to rely on this season, and while Tampa Bay is allowing more than 320 yards passing through the air, they've also forced 15 interceptions, third most in the NFL.

Tampa Bay has been on a roll and Carolina's defense simply cannot contain Tampa Bay's offense, which has developed into one of the more dynamic units in the NFL.

Carolina's slide will continue while the Bucs move one step closer to a playoff berth.

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