An NFC South showdown will wrap up Week 5 of the NFL season, as a pair of surprising 1-3 teams will face off in Carolina. For the Panthers, it wasn’t supposed to go like this. Despite losing Josh Norman to Washington, and having a tough stretch to start the season – many presumed they’d be fine and again coast to a division title. That hasn’t been the case as the defense looks shaky, and the MVP Cam Newton is getting little protection behind his offensive line. So little in fact, that he’s slated to miss tonight’s contest and Derek Anderson will be taking his spot.
For the Bucs, they too were thought to be a team on the upswing. But injuries and a surprisingly stagnant Jameis Winston have made their quest for wins much more difficult. They are catching Carolina at exactly the right time however, and you’ve got to think they see a real opportunity to put last year’s champs on the mat.
This should be a great way to finish off another riveting week of football action. Currently I am 3-1 with my Week 5 selections and will be looking to finish strong going into the Monday nighter. Read on below for a more detailed game analysis and an official betting selection for this NFC South rivalry match.
Buccaneers vs. Panthers Betting Odds:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6 (-105)
@ Carolina Panthers -6 (-115)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Buccaneers vs. Panthers Pick:
Without Cam Newton leading the Carolina offense this week, it’s hard to see the Panthers thriving under the bright lights on Monday night. Even though the Bucs themselves are dealing with some key injuries, it’ll be very interesting to see how Carolina responds without such a key figure. Derek Anderson isn’t all that great of an NFL quarterback, despite seemingly being around for ever. The offensive line has been brutal this year at protecting its talent, and despite some Bucs being out injured along their D-line, I can’t see that trend changing in Week 5. Tampa Bay’s secondary however has not been good at all so far in 2016, but I’m not certain Anderson is talented enough to exploit this. All in all, it could be another down week for Carolina’s supposedly talented offense.
The Bucs will need to score points in this game, because trusting their defense at the moment will certainly prove problematic. Tampa should have loads of success going up against a pretty suspect Carolina defense. Right now the Panthers have huge holes in their secondary. They thought it would survive the loss of Josh Norman – but it’s really struggled through the first few weeks. Last week, Julio Jones dropped 300 yards receiving on them, so you’ve got to think Mike Evans will be in store for a big game of his own. Carolina has also struggled getting to the quarterback this season as well. Jameis Winston hasn’t looked himself – but with ample time and space in the pocket, look for that Winston-to-Evans connection to work well on Monday evening. Carolina simply has nobody that keep up with the speed and length of Evans.
Carolina is still a highly overvalued club, resting on what they accomplished last season. They’re in all kinds of trouble on defense at the moment, and look lost on offense without Cam Newton. Carolina is there for the taking and that secondary truly is something awful. Look for Winston to turn in a great bounceback game and use his arm strength to move the chains with consistency in Charlotte. While they might not do enough to win outright, look for them to keep things very tight into the 4th quarter.
PICK = Buccaneers +6 (-105)