Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season kicks off tonight, and the NFC South showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers is set for Thursday Night Football. The Panthers opened as 7-point home favorites, looking for their third straight victory over the Buccaneers in Charlotte.
Carolina is 9-3 straight up and 8-4 ATS in its last 12 meetings with Tampa Bay. We like the Panthers’ chances to cover the spread tonight after they lost 30-27 to the Rams on Sunday. They battled bravely as 1.5-home dogs but couldn’t escape with a win.
On the other side, the Buccaneers disappointed their fans in Week 1. They lost 31-17 to the San Francisco 49ers as 1-point home favorites. Jameis Winston had an awful game, throwing for three interceptions and ruining a solid performance by Tampa’s defense.
Both Tampa Bay and Carolina will be keen to grab a victory tonight after losing in Week 1. Hereof, some players will have to step up, so we would like to take a look at the best prop bets.
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Christian McCaffrey dominated the Rams this past Sunday. The third-year RB had 19 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns, adding ten receptions for 81 yards. The Buccaneers allowed 98 rushing yards to the 49ers but will have a tall task to slow down McCaffrey.
The visitors will be prepared, but McCaffrey is a huge double threat. There’s no way the Buccaneers will stop him in the red zone, so picking McCaffrey at -275 to score a TD anytime seems like a sure shot.
The bookies set the line at 79.5 rushing yards on McCaffrey, and Stanford product should easily surpass it. Also, I would be surprised if he takes less than 18 rushing attempts. However, my first choice is McCaffrey to post more than 139 yards from scrimmage at -120 odds.
Last year, the Buccaneers’ defense was 27th in the league in total yards allowed and 26th in passing yards allowed. Cam Newton threw 11 passes to McCaffrey last week, and we should see more of the same tonight.
When it comes to Cam Newton, he had -2 rushing yards on three carries against the Rams. He tossed for 239 yards and an interception, but the Panthers need more from Cam on the ground. In 14 starts last season, Newton averaged 34.8 rushing yards per contest.
The one-time All-Pro is certainly cautious after all injuries in his career. However, the line at 22.5 rushing yards looks quite tempting. Likewise, Cam is averaging 39.2 rushing yards against the Buccaneers in 13 meetings during his career.
Interestingly, Newton threw 13 interceptions in those 13 encounters with Tampa Bay. Last year, the Buccaneers’ safety Andrew Adams picked off Cam three times. The price on Newton to throw an interception tonight is -120.
Cam tossed for 3395 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. After failing to throw a TD in Week 1, the price on Cam to find his teammates in the end zone more than once is -150.
On the other side, Jameis Winston will need to bounce back from a terrible performance in the opener. The 49ers returned two of his three interceptions. He threw for 194 yards and a TD, and the price on Winston to toss at least two touchdowns tonight is just -140.
As I’ve already mentioned, the Panthers should beat the Buccaneers on the back of Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton. Hereof, I would stick with the Panthers’ superstars.
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