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Buccaneers vs Panthers Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2024

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have wrapped up the NFC South with a Week 17 home victory over the New Orleans Saints, but they lost 23-13.

The Week 18 NFL odds reflect the must-win situation, with the Buccaneers a -4.5 point favorite against the hosting Carolina Panthers.

Last week, Carolina was shut out for the first time since 2002 in a 26-0 road defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Panthers don’t have much to play for other than to spoil the day for former teammate Baker Mayfield.

Read on for Week 18 NFL predictions for Buccaneers vs Panthers on Sunday.

Buccaneers vs Panthers Odds

NFL odds used for this Tampa Bay vs Carolina preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Thursday 5:15 a.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Tampa Bay (-225) • Carolina (+185)
  • Spread: Tampa Bay -4.5 (-110) • Carolina +4.5 (-110)
  • Total Points: Over 37.5 (-110) • Under 37.5 (-110)
  • Implied Score: Tampa Bay 23.25, Carolina 14.25

Buccaneers vs Panthers Predictions

Score Pick: Buccaneers 21, Panthers 10

Tampa Bay has its back to the wall after falling short last weekend against New Orleans. Bucs quarterback Mayfield will face his former team, and he’ll surely have a chip on his shoulder.

He threw a pair of interceptions last week, but he has all the weapons he needs in Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rachaad White to get the job done Sunday.

The Panthers have struggled this season, and their owner was just fined $300,000 for throwing drinks on fans. You can bet rookie quarterback Bryce Young can’t wait for the season to be over.

The Panthers do have a legit defense and likely don’t have fond memories of Mayfield, and that’s why the Bucs will just barely cover the spread.

Buccaneers vs Panthers Best Bets & Props

Buccaneers -4.5 (-105)

FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

After originally opening as a +2.5 underdog and reopening as a -6 point favorite, the Bucs are -4.5 favorites, and we almost have to make this our NFL Bet of the Day.

While all eyes will be on Mayfield, Tampa Bay running back White may make the most impact as Carolina allows 123 rushing yards per game.

Mayfield can be a wild card, but if he can keep the turnovers down, the Bucs can lean on White, throw when they must, and outscore one of the worst offenses in the NFL this season and cover the spread.

1H Under 18.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

The first half going Under 18.5 points looks like it could play on Sunday. Neither team has scored on their opening drives this season, neither team averages more than 10 first-half points, and, supposedly, Mayfield has bruised ribs.

Defensively speaking, Tampa Bay allows fewer than 10 first-half points per game, while Carolina allows a leaky 13.2 points per first half. That should be enough to keep the first-half score below 18 points.

Panthers Under 15.5 (+110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

The Panthers have exceeded this scoring prop twice in the last five games. Their offense has been described by their own beat writers as “hapless,” “pathetic,” and other choice adjectives, but the reality is Carolina has a struggling rookie quarterback facing a defense allowing 23.5 points per road game.

The Bucs defense will get a major boost at linebacker with sack machine Shaquil Barrett practicing in full and expecting to suit up. That will help keep Young on the run and the Panthers out of the end zone.

Buccaneers vs Panthers Same-Game Parlay

Buccaneers vs Panthers SGP (+395)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.10 units

  • Buccaneers -4.5 (-110)
  • Under 37.5 (-110)
  • Panthers Under 15.5 (+110)

This same-game parlay card pays $395 for a $100 stake. While that isn’t great odds for a three-leg parlay, it correlates with the picks made above.

Bucs covering the -4.5 is the main bet, and if they do, it will be because they were able to find the end zone against a stout Carolina defense while keeping the Panthers’ offense from hitting paydirt.

The defenses are better than average and facing mediocre offenses. This will be a low-scoring affair with Tampa Bay covering the number.

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