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Panthers vs. Buccaneers - 12/14/14 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11) at Carolina Panthers (4-8-1)

NFL Football: Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Bank of America Stadium)

The Line: Carolina Panthers -5.5 -- Over/Under: 42 See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers square off Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have lost eight of their last nine games and will play their last road game of the season. Josh McCown is completing 58 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. McCown has two touchdowns and three picks in his last two games, and the Buccaneers have 48 passing plays of 20 or more yards. Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans have combined for close to 1,900 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns while Louis Murphy has 10 of his 31 receptions in his last three games. The Buccaneers ground game is averaging 3.7 yards per carry, as Bobby Rainey leads the way with 406 rushing yards and one touchdown. Defensively, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are allowing 26.8 points, 364.8 yards, and they’ve forced 30 sacks and 20 turnovers. Lavonte David leads Tampa Bay with 121 tackles and Gerald McCoy has 8.5 sacks.

Panthers vs. Buccaneers - 12/14/14 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have lost six of their last seven games but are still in the NFC South race. Cam Newton is completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Newton has five total touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and the Panthers have 39 passing plays of 20 or more yards. Greg Olson and Kelvin Benjamin have combined for close to 1,700 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns while Jerricho Cotchery has five receptions in his last three games. The Panthers ground attack is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, as Jonathan Stewart leads the way with 563 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Carolina Panthers are allowing 26.2 points, 356.5 yards, and they’ve forced 28 sacks and 19 turnovers. Luke Kuechly leads Carolina with 132 tackles and Dwan Edwards has four sacks.

The Buccaneers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC South and 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Panthers are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 home games and 24-9-1 ATS in their last 34 games in December. The Buccaneers are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 meetings in Carolina and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings overall.

If the Carolina Panthers can play the way they did last week against New Orleans, this game is sure to get ugly. However, I don't think the Panthers need to play that well to cover this number anyway. The Bucs are in tank mode while the Panthers are still chasing a possible division crown. Give me Carolina by at least a touchdown. 

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Carolina Panthers -5.5

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