NFL Betting – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers 1/3
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers once harbored hopes that they could compete for one of the wild card positions in the NFC. Then the roof fell in, at least to a certain extent, as they lost three straight games. Now they finish out the season going up against what should be a highly-motivated Carolina Panthers team in NFL betting action that is set to begin at 4:25 PM ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. BetAnySports customers can challenge the football odds in real time while the game is in progress, as they take advantage of the state-of-the-art software that is available through Live Betting Extra.
Tampa Bay was 6-6 at one time, but this team has lost consecutive games, and what is most frustrating about it is that none of the teams they have fallen to are playoff contenders. Back to back to back defeats at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears have made this team an afterthought. This is the fifth straight year that the Buccaneers will have finished below the .500 mark, although this year’s performance represents an improvement from last season under coach Lovie Smith.
The Panthers have had a dream season, even though any aspirations they may have had for an undefeated campaign were dashed last week against the Atlanta Falcons. You get the feeling that some people in the organization are happy to have that monkey off their back, but this has thrown Carolina into is a situation where they have to win to be guaranteed home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
In the NFL betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Carolina is a sizable favorite:
Carolina Panthers -10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +10
Over 45.5 points -110
Under 45.5 points -110
If not for the hard-charging Arizona Cardinals, who came into this weekend with a record of 13-2, the Panthers could afford to rest a whole bunch of players. As it is, they are going to be sitting down Jonathan Stewart, their top running back (who was chosen for the Pro Bowl, by the way), as he has a foot injury. With this rest, he’ll be more than ready by the time this team starts to compete in the post-season two weeks from now.
What this means is that Carolina will go with the “committee” approach in the backfield, and this includes fullback Mike Colbert, along with youngster Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzie Whitaker. Of course, at the controls is Cam Newton, who might just be the favorite to win the Most Valuable Player award in the NFL this season. Newton’s completion percentage might not be overly impressive (58.5%), but with 33 touchdowns and all he does when it comes down to being a component of the rushing attack (626 yards) have astonished a lot of observers, considering that this offense did not have a lot of marquee names in it.
Naturally, BetAnySports patrons are aware that this is a team that plays defense about as well as anybody the side of the Denver Broncos. The Panthers have forced the most turnovers in the NFL, and that will have to be a concern for Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, who was picked off four times a last time these teams played. In that game, a 37-23 Panther win, they only had 111 passing yards. If Winston has an especially outstanding day, he could reach 4000 yards in his rookie season. He needs 283 yards to get there. Carolina will obviously offer some resistance, because they only allow 229.5 yards through the air per game. So look for a heavy dose of Doug Martin, who is 64 yards behind Adrian Peterson in a battle for the NFL rushing title.
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