Panthers vs. Buccaneers, 01/01/17 – Preview & Prediction
Written by: Jeffrey Stevens
Carolina Panthers (6-9 SU, 5-8-2 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7 SU, 9-6 ATS)
NFL: Sunday, January 1st, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: Tampa Bay -3.5
The season will come to an end this weekend for the Carolina Panthers when they head south to take the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Panthers will look to close out the season with a win after falling 33-16 last Saturday at home against the Falcons. The Bucs need to put an end to a two game losing streak after falling 24-31 against the Saints if they want a chance to play in the playoffs this year.
Panther Look To Close Out Season With A Win
The season started with high expectations for the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers, but things unfolded quickly and it was easy to see that they weren’t the same team that dabbed their way to the Super Bowl last season. They played host last week to the Atlanta Falcons and found themselves trying to dig out of a hole before the first quarter was over. The Panthers trailed 20-3 at the half and were unable to catch up in what ended in a 33-16 loss. Cam Newton threw the ball for 198 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions in the game. Running back Jonathan Stewart never quite got going and finished the day with just 50 yards on 11 touches.
The Panthers have had some issues getting on the board at times this year, but have managed to average 23.5 points per contest. They have been able to throw the ball for an average of 231.9 passing yards and ran for another 112.4 per game. Carolina faced some struggles on defense this season, giving up an average of 25.7 points a week. They allowed other teams to gain 273.5 yards in the passing game, but were able to keep opposing running backs in check with just 90.1 rushing yards.
A Win Should Mean Playoffs For The Bucs
Second-year quarterback Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could still make their way into the playoffs this season, but it’s out of the question without a win here. They took a hit last week with a 24-31 loss in New Orleans against the Saints. The Buccaneers went into the break down 7-13 and were unable to make up the difference in the last two quarters. Winston finished the game with 277 passing yards and two touchdown passes, but he was also picked off twice in the game. Mike Evans was the leading receiver, racking up 97 receiving yards and a touchdown with seven receptions.
Tampa Bay was able to put up an average of 22.5 points per game this season. They were able to move the ball for an average of 249 yards through the air and 100.5 on the ground. The Buccaneers’ defense gave up an average of 23.5 points per game. They allowed their opponents to gain 253.9 passing yards and 116.2 rushing each time they were on the field
- 4-7-2 ATS in their previous 13 games.
- 2-8-1 ATS in their previous 11 on the road.
Tampa Bay is:
- 6-1 ATS in their previous 7 games.
- 3-6 ATS in their previous 9 games at home.
There is no chance of Carolina making the playoffs, but they do have an opportunity to play spoiler against a divisional rival. The Bucs need a win here if they want to keep their season going. The Panthers secondary has their work cut out for them against Winston and his receivers. It’s pretty easy. If Jameis has a big day throwing the ball, the Bucs will be moving on.
Pick: Tampa Bay -3.5
Both of these teams have been solid for the most part when it come to points allowed, but neither has been great. The issue is that neither offense has really been a high scoring threat this season with the Panthers averaging 23.5 and the Bucs averaging 22.5 per game. However, for the Buccaneers to win I think they are going to have to do a little more then usual and that is how I see this one going. Bucs 30- Panthers 20
Pick: Over 47.5
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