Statschecker: Buccaneers @ Panthers: 5 Things To Consider
Thursday Night Football presents us with a pair of NFC South teams looking to avoid 0-2 starts. It’s not an exaggeration to say this is a must win game if either team harbors legitimate playoff hopes. Of course, the Panthers entered the year with dreams of winning the division while the Buccaneers are just trying to climb up to respectability.
As always, you need to check out our Statschecker site before you make your final decisions on how you will bet this game. It’s packed full of helpful information that can help you gain an advantage over your peers and even the oddsmakers. In this piece, we’ll walk you through five particularly interesting pieces of information that might give you some valuable insight as to what bets you should or should not place.
1. The Buccaneers really struggle on the road
It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Tampa Bay hasn’t been very good away from home lately. That’s a normal trend for teams that sport sub-.500 records. However, the Buccaneers take this trend way too far. They’ve actually lost seven straight road games.
Carolina should feature a really good home atmosphere on Thursday night. Professional football players aren’t supposed to be impacted by things like crowd noise, but it’s clear that it happens to even the most talented guys in the league. It’s tough to see how Tampa Bay is going to snap their road losing streak in Charlotte.
2. The Panthers are pretty good at home
Compounding Tampa Bay’s struggles on the road is the fact that Carolina is generally pretty good at home. Since 2015, they have gone 20-15 against the spread inside the friendly confines of Bank of America Stadium. That’s another trend that points us towards a Panthers victory in this one.
Admittedly, the spread is fairly large in this game. The Panthers currently are 6.5-point favorites over Jameis Winston and company. If you believe in history, you should take Carolina to cover that spread by winning by a touchdown or more.
3. Christian McCaffrey could go off
The Panthers came up just short against the Rams in their opener, but none of it was McCaffrey’s fault. He rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns while adding on 81 receiving yards in his team’s narrow Week 1 defeat.
Tampa Bay’s defense will clearly be geared up to stop him around the line of scrimmage, but history is working against them. McCaffrey has scored two touchdowns in each of Carolina’s last two games where they were installed as home favorites. Don’t be surprised if he makes a home for himself in the end zone on Thursday night.
4. Both teams lean towards the over
Since the start of the 2018 season, both teams sit at one game over .500 when it comes to hitting the over. That might not seem like an overly significant statistic, but it does place both franchises above the league average.
That might encourage you to back the two teams to go over the 49.5-point mark in this game. The danger here is Tampa Bay holding up their end of the bargain. They can be explosive in the passing game, but Jameis Winston also has a nasty habit of throwing the ball to the wrong team. If you think Jameis will bounce back in Week 2 then, by all means, pound the over. Otherwise, it will be best to sit this one out despite the slight historical lean.
5. Curtis Samuel could be a sneaky Fantasy play
Samuel isn’t the first guy you think of when it comes to the Panthers offense, but he has a strong history of contributing touchdowns when Carolina is installed as a home favorite. In fact, he’s found pay dirt in the last three games where that’s been the case.
Look for Cam Newton and company to really open the offensive playbook up in this must-win game. That means Samuel is going to get targets in the passing game and he could see a few opportunities via reverses as well. It won’t surprise anyone if he breaks one to the house against Tampa Bay’s questionable defense.
This game won’t be a work of art by either side, but it will be a hotly contested match-up from start to finish. It’s well worth your time and betting attention on Thursday evening. If you lay down your hard-earned money before consulting our Statschecker you’re making a mistake. Read up on the game and make your bets in an educated manner. That’s who you can make real money on Thursday night.