Carolina Panthers vs. Bucs: Prediction, best bets, and more

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brandon Zylstra
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brandon Zylstra /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

Carolina Panthers vs. Bucs: Best bets

It should come as no surprise to anybody that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heavy favorites in this one. The Carolina Panthers are all-too-aware of the task awaiting them at Raymond James Stadium and the consensus spreads further reflect this despite the absence of star wide receiver Chris Godwin, who failed to make it out of the concussion protocol in time.

The current line on the game stands between 8 and 8.5 in the Bucs’ favor. This might seem steep when one considers just how well Carolina was able to put up significant points against the Raiders, which might be able to keep them competitive, at the very least.

The pressure is on Tom Brady, who has never started a season 0-2 in his storied career. Those that open the season in the manner have a substantially reduced chance of making the postseason and although the quarterback has seen it all over a two-decade spell, the same cannot be said for the rest of the Bucs’ roster.

Carolina’s defense will need to improve. But it is hard to dispute that taking the Panthers at +8.5 is the smart play at this juncture.

In terms of the over-under for points scored in the game, The Action Network lists anything between 48.5 to 46.5. One expects the 48.5 to be pushing it a little. But there is plenty of value to be had if you can find a betting firm that is offering the 46.5.