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Week 16 brings us a divisional bout between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers. What is the best prop to bet? Gray Gutfreund takes a look.
ANALYSIS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Player Prop Picks: Will Ronald Jones Find the End Zone?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to rebound after a shutout loss on Sunday Night Football that left many fans in disbelief. On top of Tampa’s offensive struggles, they lost some key contributors to injuries on Sunday night. Chris Godwin will be sidelined until next season, while Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette may potentially miss the rest of the regular season. Ronald Jones II is expected to see a large workload in Fournette’s absence and will be relied upon on the road against Carolina this week.

For an NFC South divisional matchup between the Buccaneers and Panthers, I’ll be dishing out my favorite pick for Sunday’s game in Carolina. Let’s ride!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Player Prop Pick

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T&Cs

Ronald Jones II Anytime TD Scorer (-115)

Leonard Fournette suffered a hamstring injury last Sunday night, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the regular season for the NFL's defending champs. This opens the door for Ronald Jones II, who was spectacular when playing a full complement of snaps last season.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Le'Veon Bell, who was signed just a couple of days ago, are the only threats to Jones' volume against the Panthers this week, which sets him up for a nice workhorse role. The Bucs are 10-point favorites and are missing their top two receivers, so we can safely expect RoJo to see as many carries as he can handle in this one.

Vaughn has seen just three career red zone carries in his 19 games played over the last two seasons, while RoJo has amassed 41 red zone carries since last season. Jones out-touched Vaughn 10-3 in relief of Fournette last week, while Vaughn also committed a costly drop on a swing pass from Tom Brady in the second half. Tampa HC Bruce Arians despises mistakes from his backs and clearly lacks trust in Vaughn. With seemingly nobody else to turn to, Arians should entrust Ronald Jones with the vast majority of the team's carries and the entirety of the goal-line work.

Click here for complete Bucs vs. Panthers betting odds

RoJo proved last season that he can handle a huge workload for Tampa. He averaged a hyper-efficient 5.1 yards per carry for the season and came alive down the stretch, scoring nearly on a weekly basis. Jones scored a TD in 4 of Tampa's last 5 games, while also posting 7 touchdowns in the team's final nine regular-season contests.

He also found plenty of success against the Carolina Panthers last season. The USC product had 215 rushing yards across two games vs. Carolina in 2020, finding the end zone in each one. The Panthers have allowed a touchdown to an opposing runner in eight of their last nine games. And, the Bucs running back group has accounted for 28 scores in the team's last 30 games going back to 2020.

Ronald Jones II is in a fantastic spot to see a huge workload against a struggling Panthers squad. I love the value on him to find the end zone this week as one of the only healthy weapons in Tampa Bay's lineup.

Article Author

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Gray is a massive New York sports fan, and is an NBA & NFL oracle. He’s a passionate writer with a strong background in statistics, and loves putting out player props! You can follow him on Twitter @PropBetGuru.

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