Can the Carolina Panthers beat the favorites Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Welcome to our weekly series of articles we call “Offsides”. This is a collective effort between us here at Football Betting World and Frank Benjamin over at OddsOnBetting. This week we take a look at the game between the Buccaneers and Panthers in week 11.

The sportsbooks have picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win by one point over the Carolina Panthers. To see the odds, just visit your favorite sportsbook or you can use our handy matchup tool which is located in the odds section in the left nav bar.

With the line at only one point the bookies really think that it will be a close game and that may be true so let’s take a look at why.

For one thing, the Bucs will have to keep an eye on running back Jonathan Stewart, but even more than that, quarterback Cam Newton, when forced out of the pocket has been very effective in rushing for a first down. In fact he has over 350 rushing yards this year.

While he is in the pocket he is also a threat if receivers Steve Smith or Brandon LaFell can get open and, they have to also keep track of tight end Greg Olsen since they are the most likely candidates that Newton will look for. This is what may tend to make it a closer game to predict.

But what the Panthers may not be expecting is that Michael Bennett will be there and be ready to take care of business. And he will not be alone; he will have plenty of help such as Ronde Barber and Mason Foster. These guys aren’t the only ones that the Carolina offense will have to contend with either. I could list more but would likely have to list the entire defensive roster.

Even though the Buc’s quarterback, Josh Freeman, has only been hitting about 56 percent he may be able to improve that number a bit on Sunday against the Panther defense. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are ready to step up and make it happen.

I haven’t even mentioned yet that this is not the first time these two teams have met this season. They played in the season opener at the beginning of the season. In that game, even though Cam Newton threw for over 300 yards, he also threw 2 interceptions. Tampa won that game 16 to 10.

Let’s not overlook the playoff hunt either. Tampa Bay is not quite out of it just yet, depending a lot on what happens this week. The amount of drive a team has to win, as well as a number of other factors can affect how much confidence players have before the football game starts.

Now Tampa’s hopes of reaching the playoffs are somewhat slim but it could actually happen in a few different scenarios. For them to accomplish this they will have to contend with Atlanta and that will prove to be difficult. It may be a long shot, but for this game what is important is that the fact that the possibility exists, could be the incentive boost that Tampa needs for Sunday’s football game.

I look for Tampa to do much better this week and for Josh Freeman to have a decent game like he did in the opener. The defense may not be able to count on the Panthers throwing 2 interceptions like in the first game so the Tampa defense will have to get in there and make the big plays and force the turnovers.

So yes, I think that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet the point spread, and in fact I think they will beat the spread and more.

For the opposing view on this game, be sure to visit OddsOnBetting to read the article by Frank Benjamin. Will the Carolina Panthers cover the spread against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

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