Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL predictions, picks, odds & spreads: Value on Carolina?

Carolina Panthers running back D'Onta Foreman (33) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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Caleb Wilfinger


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Deputy Editor for Pickswise with years of experience handicapping and giving out winning picks. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC. For Caleb Wilfinger media enquiries, please email

This is a game that will go a long way into determining the NFC South champion, as the Carolina Panthers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Carolina is 4-2 over its last 6 games, while Tampa Bay has found ways to win of late, but it hasn’t been easy. This is clearly not the Tom Brady we’re used to seeing, and the Bucs offense has a whole has been quite disappointing. With Carolina playing its best football of the season in recent weeks, there may be value on the underdog here. 

Here are our predictions and best bets for Sunday’s Panthers vs Buccaneers showdown. 

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Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers spread, odds & betting lines 

Point Spread: Panthers +3, Buccaneers -3
Total Points Over/Under: 40.5 points
Money Line Odds: Panthers +140, Buccaneers -165

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Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers expert picks 

We have 2 NFL picks for this week’s clash between the Panthers vs Buccaneers. Let’s take a look.  

Panthers vs Buccaneers point spread pick: Panthers +3 (-110)

This line is a little puzzling, and it seems like the books are begging you to take the Panthers. With that being said, I’m not sure how you can lay the 3 points with Tampa Bay this week. The Buccaneers are simply not a good football team by any advanced metric you want to look at. You could also just…watch the games. There’s very little that jumps off the page from an eye test perspective with Tampa Bay either. This is an offense that is stuck in the mud, consistently falling behind bad teams week after week before needing to pull itself together for 4th quarter comebacks against the likes of Andy Dalton or Trace McSorley. The Bucs don’t have a consistently competent running game either, which is how you beat this Carolina defense.

On the other side, the Panthers offense has been much better in the post Matt Rhule era. Yes, Sam Darnold and company are 28th in DVOA, but they’re also 2nd in EPA per play on offense over the last 6 weeks, while allowing just under 15 points per game during that span. Carolina is playing its best football and it’s hard to “buy low” on Tampa in this spot considering the Buccaneers entire season has been one long “buy low” spot with no return on investment. For me, it’s Panthers or nothing in this game.

Be sure to check out our full Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers predictions

Panthers vs Buccaneers over/under totals pick: Under 40.5 (-110)

This is not one that I love considering that we’re under the key number of 41, but I can only look at the under in this game. We’ve got a divisional matchup late in the season between a couple of teams who have primarily won with their defenses of late. Another factor that makes me lean toward the under is the magnitude of this game, seeing as the winner will have the inside track for the NFC South title. This should be a game where both teams play conservatively and try to avoid turnovers and plays that could set them back early. This one should be a grind-it-out affair. Take the under

Be sure to check out all of our expert betting insight, analysis and even more NFL Predictions and Best Bets from the rest of the Week 17 action.

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