Last Updated Jan 01, 2023, 1:27 PM

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Picks, Predictions, Odds

Week 17 of the NFL season will resume on Sunday afternoon with an NFC South showdown that could potentially determine a division winner between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coverage begins from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.


The Buccaneers’ playoff hopes are dangling by a thread heading into Week 17. However, the only reason their playoff hopes are still alive in the first place is because of their phenomenal defensive play throughout the season, highlighted by Tampa’s defense ranking seventh in the league in scoring and sixth in yardage per play on the year (20.3 PPG, 5 YPP).

Tampa Bay currently holds a narrow one-game lead in the NFC South standings, but with a loss to Carolina this Sunday, the Panthers would overtake the tiebreaker and immediately leapfrog Tampa Bay in the win column after beating them by a score of 21-3 in their first meeting of the season back in Week 7.

The Panthers have posted some monster offensive numbers recently, highlighted by Sam Darnold and co. racking up 30+ points in two of their last three games, resulting in a solid record of 2-1 across their latest stretch, and 4-2 in their last six.

However, it’s also important to take into account the lack of resistance displayed by the opposition in those matchups, considering the Panthers rushed for 220+ yards in both of their scoring outbreaks against the Lions and Seahawks, who certainly aren’t known for their dominance on the defensive side of the script.

Somehow, Tom Brady and co. will probably find a way to win this contest. However, the Bucs’ offense has only topped the 21-point mark three times so far this season. So, I’ll take the under in what will probably be a two-way defensive battle for the division crown this Sunday.

Score Prediction: Buccaneers 20, Panthers 17
Best Bet: Under 40.5 (-110)

Take the Under!


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Date: Sunday, January 1, 2023
Matchup: NFC South
Venue: Raymond James Stadium
Location: Tampa, Florida
Time-TV: FOX, 1:00 p.m. ET


The Panthers enter Week 17 having won four of their last six games, while averaging over 28.5 PPG across their four wins during that timeframe, and less than 10 PPG in their two losses.

Without a doubt, though, the secret sauce for the Panthers has always been their rushing attack, and since the firing of Matt Rhule, this Carolina offense has pretty much lived and died by its ability to move the ball through the ground game.

The Panthers have averaged a whopping 240 rushing yards per game across their last four victories, compared to just 29 yards per game in their latest two losses. Which makes it pretty easy to predict when this offense is going to be able to find success.

The Bucs have one of the best defensive units in the league, and they’ve now held their opponent to less than 100 rushing yards in 12-of-15 matchups this season, which includes just 46 yards against Carolina back in Week 7. So, I’m not expecting much from the Panthers’ offense in this one.

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The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Tampa Bay's last 15 games. (Getty)


The Buccaneers are very fortunate to have a defense that ranks Top 10 in the league in scoring, because on the other side of the ball,  this Tampa Bay offense has stunk all season, and it seems like they get worse each week.

The Bucs desperately needed a win against Trace McSorley and the Cardinals last week, and ultimately, they got it. However, yet again, it was an ugly performance for Brady’s crew, as they entered the overtime period knotted up at 16 apiece, before managing to escape with a 19-16 victory.

Which just goes to show that the Bucs probably aren't going to snap out of it all of a sudden, and start looking like Super Bowl contenders, despite always seeming to carry that potential with Brady at the helm.
Tampa Bay’s defense is one of the top units in the league, and probably the second-best defense in the NFC.

So, they don’t need to turn into an offensive juggernaut in order to catapult into title contention. But it’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of consistency when your offense is averaging less than 17.5 PPG on the other side of the script.


  • The Panthers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
  • The Panthers are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games.
  • The Bucs are 0-5 ATS in their last five games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Tampa Bay's last 15 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of Tampa Bay's last six games against Carolina.
  • The Bucs are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine home games.
  • The Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against Tampa Bay.
  • The Panthers are 1-4 SU in their last five games against Tampa Bay.
  • The Panthers are 1-9 SU in their last 10 road games.
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