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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Panthers vs. Buccaneers Prediction

Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 9:30am EDT
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

This article covers a past game!

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 3:00am EDT

Introduction

National Football League action on Sunday afternoon and we will see a pair of teams from the NFC South square off as the Carolina Panthers Grapple with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This contest will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Tottenham, London. These teams met once already this season and the Buccaneers won that game on the road by a score of 20-14.

Carolina Panthers Review

The Carolina Panthers began the year at 0-2 and then Cam Newton went down. The Panthers have gone 3-0 since then as Kyle Allen has injected some life into this team. The Panthers scored just 41 points in their first two games, but have notched 86 points in their three games with Allen at the helm. the 2nd year quarterback has thrown for 67 yards with five TDs and no INTs so far. Newton will be out till late November, so this could very well be Allen's team for the rest of the year, especially if he keeps winning.

Allen isn't the only star on this team right now. Christian McCaffery has been red hot of late as he has rushed for 422 yards with four TDs in his last three games after posting just 165 yards and two TDs through his first two games. He leads the league in rushing with 587 yards and six TDs. Oh, and he also has 287 yards receiving and another TD. I'm glad I have him on a couple of my Fantasy Leagues.

The Panthers are off a 34-27 home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Allen was 17/30 for 181 yards and a TD while McCaffery rushed for 176 yards and two TDs in the game. The Panthers were outgained 507 to 445 in the contest, but still, they came out on top, thanks to winning the turnover battle 3-0. The Panthers now have their sights set on the Bucs, who they lost 20-14 to earlier in the year. Can Carolina get a measure of revenge? Can Kyle Allen and Christian McCaffery stay hot? These questions and more will be answered on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Review

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have alternated wins and losses to start the year and unfortunately for them, they have one more loss than win at this point in the season. The Bucs enter this game off a 31-24 loss at New Orleans, one week after ripping the Rams on the road by a score of 55-40. The offense had a slow start to the year for the Bucs as they put up just 37 points in their first two games but the Bucs have now scored 110 points over their last three games.

Jameis Winston has been hot of late as he has thrown for 323 ypg and nine TDs with two INTs over his last three games, compared to throwing for 201 ypg with two TDs and three INTs in his first two games. Winston is getting pressure to perform this year or the Bucs could move on. He passed for 208 yards and a TD with no INTs in the 20-14 road win over the Panthers in Week Two. Winston has a passer rating of 97.2 so far after posting one no higher than 92.2 over his first four years in the league.

The defense is where strides need to be mad as the Bucs have allowed 29.6 ppg so fare, including 34.3 ppg over their last three games. The best defensive game that the Bucs have played was against these Panthers as they allowed just 14 points, despite allowing 352 yards of total offense. The difference here is that the Bucs are now facing Kyle Allen and not Cam Newton.

Can the Bucs slow down the red-hot Carolina offense? Can Jameis Winson continue his hot play? Can the Buccaneers make the Panthers walk the plank in London? You'll just have to check back to find out.

The Running Game

Carolina Panthers Running Offense
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Defense

Carolina Panthers Running Offense

The Carolina Panthers have a strong rushing attack that seems to be getting better as we move deeper into the season. A big reason for that has been the play of Christian McCaffery, who ran for 176 yards against a solid Jacksonville defense last week. He has now rushed for 422 yards in his last three games, after putting up just 165 yards rushing in his first two games. McCaffery leads the league in rushing with 587 yards and he has scored seven total TDs, which is 2nd in the league. 

The Panthers are currently 4th in the league in rushing at 143.6 ypg and it has been even better of late as they have rushed for 184 ypg over their last three games. Last week, against the Jaguars, the Panthers had a huge game on the ground as they ran for 285 yards and they did so on just 27 carries. That translates into 10.6 yards per attempt. Yikes. McCaffery had two rushing TDs, with one going for 84 yards. Reggie Bonnafon is second on the team with 85 yards and on just seven carries. The Bucs have been solid against the run, so this will be a good test for the Panthers.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Run Defense

Tampa Bay has very good numbers against the run, but I feel we have to be cautious here. Teams do not run a ton against the Rays and why would they as their pass defense has just been horrible in the early going. I will get to their pass defense in a bit. Still, the Bucs are 2nd in the league in yards allowed and 1st in yards per attempt against. How will they hold up in this one against a red-hot Carolina Ground attack that is led by Christian McCaffery, who is the best back in the league at the moment.

Tampa Bay will need their run defense to play as the numbers indicate or it could be a long game for them. The defensive line for the bucks is not great, despite the fact that teams have only run for 3.1 yards per attempts against them. Tampa Bay will need to do a good job of filling the gaps against a solid Carolina offensive line or McCaffrey will go buck wild.

Stats

Carolina’s Run Offense

  • 19th in run play percentage (39.75 percent)
  • 15th in rushing attempts per game (25.6)
  • 4th in rushing yards per game (143.6)
  • 1st in yards per attempt (5.6)
  • 23rd in rushing first downs per game (5.2)

Tampa Bay’s Run Defense

  • 4th in the percentage of run plays against (32.8)
  • 9th in run plays per game against (22.4)
  • 2nd in rushing yards allowed per game (69.8)
  • 1st in opposing yards per attempt (3.1)
  • 4th in rushing first downs per game against (4.2)

Who has the Edge?

This is an easy call. I have to give the edge to the Panthers. I am aware that the Bucs have been stout against the run, but that aspect of their defense will get exposed here. Teams have rushed just 22.4 times per game against them and why would you run against this defense when you can pick up massive numbers by throwing the ball. Christian McCaffery has 422 yards rushing in his last three games and the Panthers have averaged 184 ypg on the ground over that stretch. I do not see that misleading Tampa Bay run defense holding up in this one.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Offense
vs. Carolina Panthers Running Defense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Offense

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not a great running team, but they are not horrible either. The Bucs are pretty much in the middle of the pack in terms of rushing and they have averaged just 108.7 ypg on the ground over their last three games. They will need a better showing from their ground game in this one as it will keep a solid Carolina pass rush at bay. Last week, they ran for just 94 yards against the Saints. 

The Buccaneers have been led by Ronald Jones Jr., who has 269 yards rushing so far and at a solid 4.60 yards per pop. 2nd on the team is Peyton Barber, who has 214 yards rushing bu at just 3.5 yards per attempt. Winston is 3rd with 37 yards. The Bucs will need more from their top two and they have a shot at getting more as the Panthers have struggled against the run this year. If Tampa gets their ground game going then it will take some of the pressure off of Winston.

Carolina Panthers Run Defense

The Panthers have a solid defensive line, but for some reason, they have struggled against the run this year. They are 24th in run defense this year and teams have run for 4.9 yards per attempt on them. The Panthers have been slightly worse of late as teams have allowed teams to run for 135.3 ypg on them over their last three games, but we also note that teams have run just 25 times per game compared to throwing it 40.3 times per game against them over that stretch.

The Panthers have also allowed 5.4 yards per attempt in those last three games. They will need to be better in this one and Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber are solid backs. If the Panthers don’t slow them down then Winston could have a big game. The Panthers do have a solid defensive line but for some reason, they have struggled to stop the runs. We will see if that changes in this one.  

Stats

Tampa Bay’s Run Offense

  • 11th in run play percentage (43.38 percent)
  • 10th in rushing attempts per game (28.2)
  • 19th in rushing yards per game (109.4)
  • 24th in yards per attempt (3.9)
  • 20th in rushing first downs per game (5.45)

Carolina’s Run Defense

  • 18th in the percentage of run plays against (40.23)
  • 22nd in run plays per game against (27.6)
  • 24th in rushing yards allowed per game (134.4)
  • 26th in opposing yards per attempt (4.9)
  • 28th in rushing first downs per game against (8.2)

Who has the Edge?

I will have to give the edge to the Buccaneers in this one. They have a couple of solid running backs in Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber and the Panthers have struggled to stop the run this year. Carolina has allowed 5.4 yards per attempt over their past three games and I see the Bucs exploiting that some. They did have just 94 yards against the Saints last week, but still, Tampa knows that if they get the ground game going then it will make it easier on Winston, who is facing a solid Carolina pass defense. The edge here goes to the Bucs.

Advantage: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Passing Game

Carolina Panthers Passing Offense
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense

Carolina Panthers Passing Offense

The Panthers have been running buck wild the last few games, but this team can still throw the ball. Cam Newton has been out with an injury and he will continue to miss time. Kyle Allen has taken over and he has been very solid so far. Allen has thrown for 674 yards with five TDs and no INTs in his three games. He has also posted a solid 107.4 QBR in those games. There is a youth movement at QB around the league and Allen is one of them. One has to wonder if Newton will get his job back once he is healthy.

The Panthers were 0-2 with Newton at the helm while going 3-0 with Allen taking the snaps. It has also helped Allen that the running game has been on fire of late if it continues to shine, then he could have a very good game against a very poor pass defense. Christian McCaffery is a part of that strong running game, but he is also 2nd on the team in receiving with 279 yards and a TD. DJ Moore leads the team with 352 yards receiving while 3rd is Curtis Samuel with 227.  

With Allen at the helm, the Panthers have relied more on McCaffrey instead of just leaning on Newton to lead the way. But Allen also deserves credit for making few mistakes in his outings.

"Some of the things they’re doing – they’re doing a lot more motions, a lot more screens [and] a lot more quick passing than they were doing,” Head Coach Bruce Arians said of the Panthers offense with Kyle Allen at the helm. “The jet motions and the sweeps and things, getting [Christian] McCaffrey out in space – which they had done a little bit against the Rams when we broke them down – but he [Kyle Allen] is an accurate passer. He’s playing really well.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense

Pathetic. That describes the Tampa Bay pass defense so far. They are last in the league in yards allowed 2nd in yards per attempt allowed and 23rd in yards per completion allowed. The big reason why their run defense looks so good is that teams are just chucking the ball all over the field against them. Teams have run the ball just 22.4 times per game against the Bucs, compared to throwing it 43.6 times per game against them. 

If the run defense gets exposed in this one, then the Bucs will be in for a long game as the Panthers can throw the ball. Jordan Whitehead leads the team in passes defended with six while no one else has more than two. Five different players have picked off a pass, with Vernon Hargreaves III returning one of them for a TD. their best defensive player maybe Shaquil Barrett who leads the team in sacks with nine. No one else has more than one. If they don’t get Pressure on Allen, then he will pick them apart. 

Stats

Carolina’s Pass Offense

  • 10th in pass attempts per game (36.0)
  • 23rd in passing yards per game (226.4)
  • 29th in completion percentage (61.11)
  • 24th in yards per pass attempt (6.3)
  • 20th in yards per pass completion (10.3)
  • 26th in TD passes (five)
  • Tied for 1st in INT thrown (one)
  • 21st in passer rating (88.8)

Tampa Bay’s Pass Defense

  • 32nd in pass attempts against per game (43.6)
  • 32nd in net passing yards per game allowed (323.6)
  • 13th in completion percentage allowed (63.76)
  • 22nd in yards per pass attempt (7.4)
  • 23rd in yards per pass completion (11.6)
  • 21st in TD passes allowed (nine)
  • Tied for 6th in INT (five)
  • 21st in sacks per game (2.2)
  • 15th in passer rating allowed (94.7)

Who has the Edge?

Even though the Panthers have been running the ball all over the place of late, the edge in this department clearly goes to Carolina. The Buccaneers have the worst pass defense in the league and it will not be much better in this one, especially after their run defense gets exposed for putting up phony numbers. The Bucs have allowed 323.6 ypg through the air and teams have completed passes at 13.5 ypc against them over their last three games. The Tampa pass deefsne will not get much better in this one.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense
vs. Carolina Panthers Passing Defense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense

The Tampa Bay passing game has been near the middle of the pack this year at 250.4 ypg. The big problem has been accuracy as they are 28th in the league in that department. When they complete passes, they are usually big plays as the Bucs are  4th in the league in yards per completion at 12.3. The Buccaneers will need to throw the ball a lot this year if they hope to keep pace with their opponents as the Bucs have a bad defense. 

Jameis Winston had one of his best games against the Rams a few weeks ago as he threw for 385 yards with four TDs and an INT and he followed that up by throwing for 204 yards with two TDs and no INTs last week against the Saints. Winston has a 97.2 passer rating this year and has thrown for 1371 yards with 11 TDs and five INTs so far. He is prone to making mistakes and the Panthers are a good team at causing them.  Chris Goodwin leads the team in receiving with 511, which is also 3rd in the league. He has become a big-play threat and if the offensive line gives Winston time, then we could see him hit Goodwin for a big play or two down the filed. Mike Evans is another big-play threat as he has 368 yards receiving and at 20.4 yards per pop.

Carolina Panthers Passing Defense

The Panthers have a very good pass defense and it will be tested in this game. Jameis Winston has gotten off to a solid start this year and he has some good weapons in Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin. Still, the Panthers are 4th in yards allowed through the air, 3rd in yards per attempt 2nd in sacks per game and 6th in opponent passer rating. The offensive line for the Bucs is not that great and that means Mario Addison and Brian Burns could be setting up shop in the Tampa backfield. The pair have combined for 10 sacks already.

James Bradberry leads the team in passes defended with five while Donte Jackson leads them in INTs with two. Teams have thrown the ball 40.3 times per game on this defense over their last three games and the Panthers have allowed just 204.3 ypg over that stretch. This is a solid pass defense that could have a good game and it also could e severely tested if the Carolina run defense doesn’t step up.

Stats

Tampa Bay’s Pass Offense

  • 24th in pass attempts per game (33.2)
  • 12th in passing yards per game (250.4)
  • 28th in completion percentage (61.45)
  • 8th in yards per pass attempt (7.5)
  • 4th in yards per pass completion (12.3)
  • 4th in TD passes (11)
  • 22nd in INT thrown (5)
  • 15th in passer rating (91.9)

Carolina’s Pass Defense

  • 25th in pass attempts against (37.0)
  • 4th in passing yards per game allowed (197.0)
  • 10th in completion percentage allowed (62.70)
  • 3rd in yards per pass attempt (5.3)
  • 4th in yards per pass completion (8.5)
  • Tied for 7th in TD passes allowed (six)
  • Tied for 12th in INT (four)
  • 2nd in sacks per game (4.0)
  • 6th in passer rating allowed (80.9)

Who has the Edge?

I will be giving the edge to the Panthers in this category. The Bucs have a good passing game led by Winston, Goodwin, and Evans, but the Panthers pass defense has been one of the best in the league so far. Carolina can also get pressure on Winston as they have averaged 4.0 sacks per game so far. That will spell doom for the Tampa Bay passing game as Winston will make mistakes when under pressure. The Bucs have passed for 296.3 ypg over their last three games, but the Panthers have allowed just 204.3 ypg over the same stretch and at 5.1 yards per attempt. This edge goes to the Panthers.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers

Intangibles

Carolina Panthers

Are the Panthers a better team with Kyle Allen running the show than they were with Cam Newton? It is still early, but so far the returns have been positive for Allen as the Panthers are 3-0 with him calling the shots while going 0-2 with Newton in there. It also helps to have Christian McCaffery get hot as well. The Panthers are not a team that will beat themselves all that often as they are 2nd in the league in fewest penalties at 5.6 per game and 3rd in penalty yards per game at 47.2 ypg. They are 21st in turnovers per game at 1.6 But Allen has yet to throw an INT in his three games so far. 

The kicking game may be a problem as the Panthers have connected on just 76.9% of their attempts, while the return games are average at best. The Panthers are 5th in the league in average starting field position as they begin their drives at their own 31.3 on average. We also note that the Panthers have won both of their road games so far while going 1-2 at home. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are a young team that is still trying to figure out how to win and with youth comes mistakes. The Bucs are 21st in the league in penalties per game at 8.0 and 15th in penalty yards per game at 62.4. The Bucs are 6th in the league in turnover margin per game at +0.8 and that will hopefully combat their penalty woes in this one. 

41.7% of Tampa Bay’s drives end in a score and that is 6th in the league, plus they are 8th in starting field position at their own 29.9-yard line. The Bucs have connected on 83.3% of their field goal attempts so far and their return games are rather average in the early going. The Bucks have lost both home games so far and they have allowed 31.5 ppg in those games. Something has to give in this one as the Panthers have yet to lose on the road. 

Who has the Edge?

I will call this a push. The Panthers do some of the extra stuff correctly and so do the Bucs. Carolina won’t beat itself with silly penalties and the Bucs won’t beat itself with bad turnovers. The Bucs have a slight edge in the kicking game, but the Panthers start in a better field position. The Panthers have gone 2-0 on the road while the Buccaneers have gone 0-2 at home so something has to give there. Overall, I would say that the intangibles for this one are about even.

Advantage: Push

Final Outlook

Ok, let’s put all this gobblygook together. I will roll with the Panthers in this one and a big reason is their defense. Yes, they have struggled against the run, but the Bucs are more of a passing team and Carolina has one of the best pass defenses in the league. The Panthers are 4th in the league against the pas 3rd in yards per attempt allowed, 4th in yards per completion allowed and 2nd in sacks. The Panthers will get pressure on Winston in this game and that should force him into so mistakes. Winston does have five INTs tossed on the year. 

The Bucs have strong numbers against the run, but that is because teams have been throwing the ball all over creation against them. In this game, you will see a balanced attack by the Panthers. Their run game is one of the best in the league and they have run for 184 ypg over their last three games. The Tampa Bay run defense will be exposed in this one and once it is, then Kyle Allen will pick apart that horrid pass defense that ranks last in the league giving up 323.6 ypg passing so far. 

We also have the revenge factor here as the Panthers lost at home to the Bucs by a score of 20-14 back in week two. The Panthers have plenty of edge in this game and they won’t beat themselves with dumb penalties. The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games here at Raymond James Stadium and the road team is 8-3 ATS the last 11 games in this series, plus the Bucs are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games in October. Take the Panthers in this one.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

The Panthers have grabbed 61% of the bets and they have gone from -1 up to -2.5. That is consistent with the percentage of bets.

Carolina’s Injury Report 

Questionable: TE Chris Manhertz, DB Donte Jackson, OT Dennis Daley, LB Shaq Thompson, and DB Eric Reid

Out: OG Trai Turner, DB Natrell Jamerson, OT Greg Little, WR Chris Hogan, and QB Cam Newton

Tampa Bay’s Injury Report

Questionable: DB Mike Edwards, LB Shaquil Barrett, RB T.J. Logan, DB Jamel Dean, and LB Devin White 

Out: WR Breshad Perriman, OT Demar Dotson, LB Jack Cichy, OG Alex Cappa, OG Zack Bailey, and QB Blaine Gabbert.

Prediction: Carolina -2.5

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

The Panthers have been a hot offensive team of late as they have averaged 29.3 ppg over their last three games. Their offensive onslaught should continue here against a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed 34.3 ppg and 453 yards per game over their last three games. Tampa Has also allowed 31 and 32 points in their two home games. The Panthers have been a solid defensive team of late as they have allowed just 19 ppg over their last three games, but the Tampa offense is no slouch as they have put up 36.7 ppg over their last three games. 

The Tampa Bay pass defense is the worst in the league and the Panthers will pick that apart once they get their strong running game going. The Bucs throw the ball a lot and they will need to in this game if they want to match points with the Panthers. Carolina’s last three games have averaged 48.3 ppg while Tampa’s last three have averaged 71.0 ppg. The Over is 17-8 in Carolina’s last 25 games in October and 22-8 in Tampa Bay’s last 30 games in October. The first game saw just 34 points being scored, but this contest has all the earmarks of a bonafide shootout. Take the Over.

Prediction: Over 47.5

Full-game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I like the Panthers to win this game and it will be their offense that does the damage. The Panthers have had a much better offense with Allen Under center and McCaffery has been a beast of late. They have averaged 29.3 ppg over their last three games and the Bucs have allowed 34.3 ppg over the same stretch. This is an unfamiliar field for both teams and it is an early start team for both. but still, the Panthers are hot on offense and the Bucs have no defense, This is an easy call.

Prediction: Panthers Team Total Over 24.5

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I like the Panthers to get off to a quick start in this one. They have averaged a solid 15 ppg over their last three games in the first half and the Bucs have allowed 14.7 ppg in the first half over their last three games. The Bucs have been a good offensive team in the first half of late, but the Panthers have allowed just 10 ppg in the first half over their last three games. Take the Panthers to have tyhe lead at the break.

Prediction: Carolina -0.5

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I like the Over in the game and I will look for the scoring to start early. I feel that the Panthers will score at least 14 points in the first half as they have averaged 15 ppg in the first half over their last three games. The Bucs have averaged 22 ppg over their last three games in the first half and while I don't expect them to get that much, I will look for them to post at least 10 points. Look for this one to go over at the Break.

Prediction: Over 23

Half-time Prop Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will look for the Panthers to get off to a good start on offense in this one and they should put up at least two TDs. The Panthers have averaged 15 ppg in their first half over the last three games, while the Bucs have allowed 14.7 ppg in the first half over the same stretch. The Panthers have the offense to pick apart this weak Tampa Offense, especially once the ground game gets rolling.

Prediction: Panthers Team Total Over 12.5 (First Half)
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.