Something will have to give as the Carolina Panthers have lost four games in a row and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have dropped back-to-back games heading into this NFC South showdown. The NFL betting lines are favoring the host Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay is just 2-3 at home this season but Carolina joins Tennessee and Arizona as the only teams yet to win on the road this season. The last two road losses have come by a combined total of 10 points.
The current NFL point spread has Tampa Bay favored by five points. Tampa Bay has won its last three home games against Carolina and covered in each of those matchups.
Defensive backs Vonn Bell, Jeremy Chinn, Jaycee Horn, linebackers Yetur Gross-Matos, DJ Johnson and Marquis Haynes, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Tommy Tremble, offensive lineman Cade Mays and receiver Laviska Shenault are all questionable for Carolina.
Linebackers Lavonte David, Devin White, Sir Vocea Dennis and YaYa Diaby as well as cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean are questionable for Tampa Bay.
— Buccaneers Communications (@BuccaneersComms) November 29, 2023
Despite a 4-7 record, Tampa Bay is just a game out of first place in the NFC South standings with six division games remaining, including this week’s matchup. Not only does Carolina have the worst record in the NFL, but the Panthers’ first-round pick is headed to Chicago as part of the trade that sent the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to Carolina.
When looking at the NFL futures odds, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are priced at +20000 in the odds of winning the Super Bowl. Carolina is one of five teams having the longest championship odds at +100000.
Will Coaching Change Affect Panthers’ Chances?
Perhaps if the top draft pick remained the property of the Panthers, there wouldn’t be a need to make a move. But not wanting to have the No. 1 overall pick land in the laps of the Chicago Bears, the Panthers fired head coach Frank Reich as well as assistant coaches Duce Staley and Josh McCown.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor is the interim head coach with Jim Caldwell named the special advisor to offensive coordinator Thomas Brown.
It is hard to know what is more troubling – that Carolina has made an in-season coaching move for the second year in a row or that those running the team are stunned that there are offensive struggles now that star running back Christian McCaffrey was traded to San Francisco and top receiver D.J. Moore is in Chicago.
It is not easy to rank in the bottom five of the NFL in both passing and rushing yards, but Carolina has managed to accomplish that feat. The Panthers are also 29th or lower in points and yards per game, and no team averages fewer yards per passing attempt than the Panthers.
Carolina has struggled to stop teams in the second and fourth quarters of games.
Facing a Tampa Bay defense that has many of its top players showing up on the injury report could give Carolina’s offense a chance to get going.
The NFL betting lines total has gone under in each of the last five games played by Carolina.
Now or Never for the Buccaneers
Could Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles be joining Reich in the unemployment line?
A loss to the worst team in the NFL might be enough for that to happen.
While there are questions regarding the availability of multiple defensive starters, it is looking like quarterback Baker Mayfield will be good to go on Sunday.
Tampa Bay has scored 20 points or less in six of the last seven games and won just once during that time to lose control of the NFC South race.
Tampa Bay running back Rachaad White is coming off his second career 100-yard rushing game. He is among the NFL leaders in receptions by running backs so it will be worth monitoring how much balance there is on offense heading into this game. Keep that in mind when it comes time to make NFL picks this week.
The total has gone under in seven of Tampa Bay’s last nine games.
Panthers vs Buccaneers Head-to-Head
The teams will meet twice between now and the end of the regular season.
The last time they played, Tampa Bay won 30-24 on Jan. 1 and covered as a 3½-point favorite at home as Mike Evans had three touchdown catches to help the Buccaneers erase an early 14-point deficit.
The game went over the 40½-point total on the last of Evans’ TD receptions with 6:47 left to play.
Five of the last seven games played between the teams finished over the total, with the home team winning each of the last three meetings.
Panthers vs Buccaneers Betting Lines
Panthers vs Buccaneers Game Information
- Game: Panthers (1-10) vs Buccaneers (4-7)
- Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 3, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL.
- Panthers vs Buccaneers Live Stream: NFL Game Pass
Panthers vs Buccaneers Game Weather Conditions
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s at kickoff with cloudy but dry conditions so the weather shouldn’t have much of an impact on the game’s outcome.
Panthers vs Buccaneers Game Prediction
Predicted Score: Buccaneers 24, Panthers 20
Worth Betting the Moneyline?
Among the favorites playing on Sunday, Tampa Bay might be one of the teams to be the most anxious about. Carolina could get a boost following yet another in-season coaching change and the Buccaneers aren’t exactly going into the game resembling the team that won a Super Bowl not too long ago. However, until Carolina wins on the road, it is hard to go with the Panthers in this matchup.
NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-235)
Worth Betting ATS?
This might be the smarter way to proceed. In the last meeting, if Carolina’s last drive had ended with a touchdown instead of a field goal, the Panthers would have covered. It is hard to have much faith in Tampa Bay as a five-point favorite and Carolina could hang around in this matchup.
Carolina has covered against the NFL spread in just two of its last nine games. Could the Panthers be ready to reverse that trend?
NFL Pick: Carolina Panthers +5
Worth Betting on the Totals?
Only two games this week have lower totals than the 37-point number attached to this game, even though the Panthers and Buccaneers will both be starting quarterbacks who were No. 1 overall picks.
Don’t expect a 44-41 game between these teams but there should be enough scoring in this game to surpass the 37-point total. That happens to be the lowest total in a game between the Panthers and Buccaneers since 2010.
NFL Pick: Over 37
Questions Of The Day
Which team is most likely to score a touchdown in the first quarter between the Panthers and the Buccaneers?
Neither team has shown the ability to put up points early in games, but Carolina averages more points and allows fewer points in the first quarter of games than Tampa Bay.
What is the most important factor to consider when placing a bet on the Panthers vs Buccaneers game?
Keeping an eye on the injuries to the key defensive players for both teams since the absence of defensive playmakers could make things easier for the offenses for both teams.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.