Tampa Bay at Carolina
Time: NOON (EST), FOX
Spread: TB -7
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Brady-infused much-improved Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 6-3 in second place in the NFC South, and visiting the Carolina Panthers as 7-point favorites in Week 10 NFL Odds. The over-under is set at 51 points according to NFL oddsmakers at 5dimes, and the game will air at Noon (EST) on FOX.
Tampa Bay has become Tom Brady’s team, but the last outing against the Carolina Panthers it failed to reach the end zone in a 31-17 loss. Brady is hoping for better success against his successor’s former team, as the Panthers fight along at 3-6, tied for the last place in the NFC South with the Atlanta Falcons.
Tampa Bay has been a decent pass offense at 256.9 yards per game, but it boasts one of the worst rushing attacks, good for just 92.1 yyards per game. Overall, the offense is still strong at 27.8 points per game and ranking No. 8 in the NFL. Its defense is strong enough, too, limiting opponents to just 22.6 per game, and giving TB a win-differential of +5.2 points per game.
Brady has thrown for 2,398 yards at a 65.3 percent clip with 20 touchdowns and seven picks. He has been sacked 13 times in nine games and boasts a passer rating of 96.2. Brady has benefitted from his own tight end, bringing Rob Gronkowski along with him to Tampa Bay to rank No. 3 receiving yards, and his three touchdowns rank No. 2 among receiving options. Mike Evans and Scott Miller each have over 400 yards receiving and Evans has a team-best seven touchdowns. But the trio will need to find ways to produce against Carolina. The Bucs have 32 passing touchdowns and just nine via the rush, meaning this receiving corp will be counted on heavily for its red-zone production, even with a pretty productive backfield. The Bucs average 4.0 yards-per-carry, but its main two options are both efficient and consistent. Ronald Jones II has rushed for 30 first downs and 538 yards, along with four touchdowns, which is pretty productive for someone accused of not being a big playmaker. Leonard Fournette is producing roughly the same levels but in half the carries.
Carolina is 3-6 and tied for last in the NFC South. It has lost its last four straight, with losses to Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Kansas City.
The Panthers have turned to Teddy Bridgewater with its starting QB Cam Newton Departed to New England. Bridgewater has produced. He has thrown for 2,416 yards and has 11 touchdown passes to six picks. He has been sacked twice per game, but still has a passer rating of 98.7. Bridgewater has rushed his way to 180 more yards on a 5.6 yard-per-carry average, and he has also rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Mike Davis leads the team in yardage with 353 yards, but Christian McCaffrey has been the scoring beneficiary with five touchdowns on his 59 attempts, in addition to 14 first downs which trails only Davis’ 18 first downs.
Bridgewater’s top targets have been his two wideouts, Robby Anderson and DJ Moore. The pair has combined for 1,300-plus yards, four touchdowns, and 63 first downs. Davis has come out of the backfield to catch 43 of 49 targeted passes for an average of 6.5 yards each, and he has added two receiving touchdowns. Between Bridgewater, Davis, Anderson, and Moore there should be enough offensive firepower in Carolina. The issue will be providing enough defensive effort that it matters. Thus far, Carolina is giving up 25.1 points per game, while scoring 23.3 itself. Without a premier offense, but more of a “Decent one,” it is going to need a premier defense to improve its woeful .333 win percentage thus far.