Whether Cam Newton completes the concussion protocol in time to play will color the Carolina Panthers’ home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
With both teams 1-3 straight-up and 1-3 against the spread, each needs a win to keep contact in the NFC South race. Panthers backup QB Derek Anderson has prepared all week as if he will be starting. Carolina will not know until the end of the week if Newton, the franchise QB, will play against the Buccaneers.
With a healthy Newton, the Panthers are 14-0 SU in their last 14 games against teams with losing records. The Panthers are also 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games in October.
Anderson is 5-2 as a starter against Tampa Bay in his career, but obviously doesn’t possess the rushing ability or the arm strength of Newton. However, WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen are facing a Buccaneers pass defense which is allowing 8.3 yards per pass and has one interception in four games. Tampa Bay will get DE Robert Ayers back from a two-game absence to spark its pass rush.
The amount of run game support Anderson will have is debatable. Primary RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is injured and the Panthers’ offensive line has struggled.
Tampa Bay is 1-4 ATS in its last five Monday games. The Buccaneers are also 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Panthers.
Second-year QB Jameis Winston leads the league in interceptions (8) and the Buccaneers have allowed an NFL-worst 51 points off turnovers. Winston will not have main RB Doug Martin (hamstring) alongside to make Carolina respect the run. With Charles Sims (knee) also ailing, the Bucs’ best running back option might be Jacquizz Rodgers
Winston does excel at hanging in against blitzes, and he’s facing a Carolina defense that allowed 500-plus yards against Atlanta’s Matt Ryan in Week 4. If Winston can find WR Mike Evans and WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay could put up some points. However, a turnover-prone offense facing MLB Luke Kuechley and OLB Thomas Davis doesn’t seem like a promising matchup.
The Buccaneers are 2-5 SU in their last seven games on the road after consecutive home games. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Buccaneers’ last 10 games against their division. The total has gone OVER in five of the Panthers’ last seven divisional games