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Bucs Host the Panthers on Thursday Night Football in Week 8

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview

Start Time: Thursday, October 24th 2013 at 8:25pm ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
Watch: Live on the NFL Network

This week on Thursday Night Football the Carolina Panthers 3-3 (3-3 ATS) travel to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida to play the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-6 (1-5 ATS). A terrible season has just got much worse for the Buccaneers this past week.

Tampa kept it close against the Falcons (31-23) on Sunday, but they lost their starting RB Doug Martin. Reports indicate that he may miss the rest of the season, but at the very least he has been ruled out of this game on Thursday night against the Panthers.

Latest Point Spread & Over/Under Lines in TB vs. CAR

The point spread opened up at –7 points in favor of the Panthers, but we’ve just seen a big drop down to –5.5 points. The total is at O/U 40 points currently after moving up a ½ point from the opening line. Expect to see more movement on both of these lines.

Bovada Live Odds
Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Point Spread:
-5.5 (-110)
+5.5 (-110)
Money Line
Game Total
O40 (-110)
U40 (-110)

Can Mike Glennon Lead the Bucs to Their First Win

The Buccaneers may have made the right choice in getting rid of Josh Freeman after watching him last night in his first start for the Vikings. Mike Glennon has gone 76/130 (58.5%) for 722 passing yards, 5 TD’s and 3 INT’s. His QBR is 77.1 after playing in 3 games.

Tampa Bay has had tons of problems on offense this season and they only average 14.5 PPG (31st), 196.7 PYPG (29th) and 101.2 RYPG (20th). Rookie Mike James (17 Carries for 57 Rushing Yards) will be taking over the starting running back role now that Martin is out.

With a rookie QB and RB now starting for the Bucs it’s difficult to see how the offense will win games. The rookies will want to make an impression to solidify their roster spot, but this isn’t going to be the week where the Bucs win their first game of the season.

Carolina has quietly turned into one of the best defenses in the league. The Panthers allow 13.8 PPG (2nd), 217.7 PYPG (5th) and 84.5 RYPG (4th) this season. The strength of schedule hasn’t been that tough, but the Bucs are one of the worst offensive teams.

Will Carolina Extend Their Winning Streak to Three Games

The Panthers are on a 2-game winning streak with wins over the Vikings (35-10) and Rams (30-15). Cam Newton has been putting up solid numbers this season, as he has gone 108/170 (63.5%) for 1331 passing yards, 10 TD’s and 5 INT’s. He has a QBR of 95 this year.

Carolina only averages 197.3 PYPG (28th), but Newton has made big plays when he has had to make them. It’s the running game that the Panthers excel at (130.2 RYPG – 7th). DeAngelo Williams leads the way with 106 carries for 434 rushing yards, but he has no TD’s.

Mike Tolbert has been getting the goal line carries and he has punched in 3 rushing TD’s while gaining 147 yards on 44 carries. TB is going to have to keep Newton contained in the pocket as well. Newton already has 39 carries for 179 rushing yards and 2 TD’s.

One thing the Bucs have done well this season is stopping the run (88.8 RYPG – 5th). Tampa Bay’s defense also allows 22 PPG (15th) and 252 PYPG (18th). Carolina may have trouble running the football, so Newton will be required to air it out a bit more to his WR’s.

Players That Have to Perform Well on Sunday

Steve Smith gives this Panthers team an edge and he’s able to get under the skin of the opposing defense. Smith is currently leading the team in catches (28). He has gained 293 yards through the air and is tied in the lead with 3 receiving TD’s.

If the Bucs want any chance to win Glennon has to get the football into the hands of Vincent Jackson. Jackson leads the Buccaneers in receptions (36), receiving yards (544) and receiving TD’s (4). Jackson is the one player on offense that can hurt the Panthers.

Panthers vs. Buccaneers Predictions

With this point spread dropping down to under a TD I think the best bet is to jump on the –5.5 points now before it starts going up again. Without Martin the Bucs are going to have trouble moving the football and it looks like Carolina has finally turned a corner.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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