Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 25: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Seahawks won 30-27.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers hold the upper hand in the recent rivalry with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning nine of the last 11 meetings outright and going 8-3 against the spread over that span.

Carolina is lined as a divisional road favorite for Sunday afternoon's battle with the Buccaneers in Tampa.


NFL point spread: The Panthers opened as four-point favorites; the total was 55.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.1-24.9 Buccaneers (NFL picks on every game)

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Why the Panthers can cover the spread

The Panthers won three games in a row into November but now seek to stop a three-game losing streak after falling at home to Seattle last week 30-27.

Carolina led the Seahawks 3-0 early and 27-20 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Panthers gave up the last 10 points of the game, losing on a field goal at the buzzer.

Carolina held a 26-21 edge in first downs and outrushed the No. 1 rushing team in the league 220-75. But the Panthers also got nothing on two drives that reached the Seattle red zone, gave up a 35-yard Russell Wilson touchdown pass on a fourth down and attempted and missed a 52-yard field goal with just under two minutes to go, handing the Seahawks a short field, leading to the game-deciding score.

Carolina has now outgained six of its last seven opponents and outrushed six of its last nine foes. At 6-5 overall the Panthers now trail Washington by a tiebreaker in the battle for the second NFC wild-card spot.


Why the Buccaneers can cover the spread

Tampa just snapped a four-game losing skid with a 27-9 victory over San Francisco last week.

The Bucs drove their second possession of the game 73 yards to a touchdown, led 13-6 at the half, let the 49ers get within 13-9 but scored the last 14 points to secure the victory and the cash as two-point favorites.

Tampa outgained San Francisco 412-342, held a 34/26 advantage in time of possession and, for the first time since Week 1, won the turnover battle 2-0.

The Bucs have actually now outgained each of their last three opponents and six of their last seven foes. At 4-7 overall, Tampa is only two games back of the Redskins in that NFC wild-card race.


Smart betting pick

Carolina won the first meeting between these teams this season 42-28 a month ago, outgaining the Buccaneers by over 100 yards and covering as a six-point favorite. And there's not much reason to believe this game will play out much differently.

The smart money here gives the points with the Panthers.


NFL betting trends

The total has gone under in four of the Panthers' last five games versus the Buccaneers.

The Panthers are 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in their last five games on the road versus the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games at home in December.


All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.