Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9/20/20 NFL Picks, Predictions, Betting Tips, Week 2
Game: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date: 1 p.m., Sunday, September 20, 2020
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Odds/Point Spread: Tampa Bay -9.0
Tom Brady is going to get well acquainted with the NFC South very quickly.
Tampa Bay opens the season with a Week 1 test against three-time defending AFC South champion New Orleans. The Saints are one of the best teams in the NFC and boast one of the most daunting home field advantages in the NFL. The Bucs will then follow that up with Brady’s first home game in his new stadium while facing what is clearly the worst team in the NFC South, the Carolina Panthers.
Needless to say, I don’t expect things to go very well for the Panthers in this one.
The Panthers are in the opening stages of a complete and total rebuild. They have a new head coach, a new quarterback, and a host of new players on the roster. Carolina has emptied its locker room of most of the franchise leaders over the past decade, including Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly.
That leadership vacuum is going to hurt Carolina in its first road trip of the season. Especially against a Tampa Bay squad that could be one of the most improved in the league.
Brady replaced turnover-prone loser Jameis Winston this offseason. That’s a massive upgrade under center for the Bucs, who finished tied for No. 29 in the league last year with a -14 turnover differential. Brady is one of the steadiest hands the NFL has ever seen. And improvement in that one statistical area should lead to a massive advancement for this squad.
Brady will also be working with one of the best collection of skill position players he’s ever had. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both Pro Bowl receivers. The three-headed tight end monster of Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will be a nightmare matchup for opponents. And if running back Ronald Jones can blossom in his third season, then the Bucs should have the pieces in place for a Top 10 offense.
Carolina has Christian McCaffrey. And that’s it. New quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is tasked with getting this unfamiliar Panthers offense on the same page. But Carolina doesn’t possess anywhere near the high-end talent that the Bucs are packing.
The Panthers have had the upper hand in the series lately, going 6-4 straight up and against the spread against the Bucs. This series has also favored the underdog in recent years, with the dog scoring four outright wins in those last 10 meetings.
I don’t see the underdog threatening here, though. Even with new pieces in key positions, the Bucs are going to be much further ahead than Carolina is. The Bucs are underdogs in their opening week trip to New Orleans. If they lose that game, they will be extremely motivated to get this one against Carolina and avoid falling to 0-2. And even if the Bucs pull the upset in Week 1, they will recognize the opportunity here to lock up another divisional win early in the season. Either way, it should lead to a blowout for the home team.
Who will win the Panthers/Buccaneers NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: Take Tampa Bay -9.0.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in June. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 2 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 17.
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