NFL Week 2 Betting Picks: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

NFL Week 2 kicks off Thursday night with an NFC showdown. Here’s a sports betting preview for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers.

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The Carolina Panthers opened as 5-point home favorites and are now 7-point favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at some online sports betting sites, according to The total opened at 50.5 and has fallen a point to 49.5 at William Hill sportsbook.

NFL Betting Tip: Remember to use RotoGrinders’ new NFL odds comparison tool to look at NFL Week 2 lines across the online sports betting industry and find out what sportsbook has the best price for your favorite NFL games.

Also check out more NFL Week 2 lines and betting picks

Now, let’s break down the odds and make a few NFL betting picks for Thursday Night Football.

NFL Betting Picks Week 2 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers -7, O/U 49.5

Both Carolina and Tampa Bay began their seasons with losses to NFC West teams. Carolina’s offense was stagnant early, trailing the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 at the end of the first half. The Panthers managed to make a comeback, scoring 24 points in the final two quarters. Though questions surround the offense, Cam Newton in particular, the Panthers don’t get knocked for losing by a field goal to the defending NFC champions.

One team that left bettors feeling uneasy are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As of Wednesday, heavy bets on Carolina have moved the opening line 1.5 points. That’s not surprising considering Tampa Bay’s performance against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. Jameis Winston doesn’t appear to be turning the corner under new head coach Bruce Arians. Instead, Tampa Bay continues to throw the ball a lot (36 times) and Winston continues to make poor decisions.

Tampa Bay committed three turnovers, all of which came from Winston’s throws. In fact, Winston threw more touchdowns to San Francisco defenders than he did his own receivers. Neither Chris Godwin nor O.J. Howard had breakout games, and Mike Evans, who was suffering from flu symptoms, only caught two passes for 28 yards.

Newton’s performance wasn’t anything to write home about. As opposed to Winston, Newton’s problem was that he was too conservative. Newton had reportedly fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and a sprained ankle suffered in Week 3 of the preseason. Despite optimistic reports, Newton only rushed three times and failed to throw a completion for more than 17 yards. Newton’s unwillingness to use his legs will hurt Carolina in the long run. The Panthers are 60-43 in games when he rushes for 10 or more yards and 8-11 in games in which he has rushed for fewer than 10 yards. Newton was defensive in his post-game press conference when asked about the lack of deep throws. Newton could be without one of his favorite targets, TE Greg Olsen, but expect him to try to take advantage of Tampa Bay’s poor secondary Thursday night with receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. Newton also might get help from offensive tackle Greg Little, who could return after missing Week 1 with a concussion.

My Pick: 7 points is a lot in the NFL and we’re getting the best side of the number by taking Tampa Bay now. Winston has plenty of weapons, and as long as he can keep from turning the ball over multiple times, Tampa Bay should have a decent chance to cover. Tampa Bay +7 (use our William Hill promo code to get these odds)

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NFL Week 2 Betting Picks — Player Props

Cam Newton Under 27.5 Rushing Yards – As Week 1 showed, Newton was very timid when it came to utilizing his legs. The Panthers also didn’t use many designed runs for the dual-threat QB. That might be because Newton is still nursing a sprained ankle from the preseason. Tampa Bay only sacked Jimmy Garoppolo once and PFF ranked them as the 29th-worst pass rush in Week 1. Part of their problems come from losing Gerald McCoy, who will be playing opposite of them Thursday night. Carolina should be playing with the lead, which will encourage Carolina to continue conservative usage of their fragile quarterback. We get an extra three yards at Fanduel on this prop compared to other online sports betting sites.

Curtis Samuel Over 44.5 Receiving Yards – Samuel was Carolina’s breakout star during training camp. He only caught 3 passes for 32 yards in Week 1, but Carolina’s offense was underwhelming as whole minus Christian McCaffrey. Newton will be more comfortable in Week 2 and Tampa Bay’s defense won’t give Newton too many problems. Samuel has breakaway speed and can get over 44.5 yards with just a couple of catches. DraftKings has Samuel’s projection four yards fewer than other online sports betting sites.

NFL Week 2 Betting Picks — Monkey Knife Fight Player Props

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Here are my favorite Monkey Knife Fight props for Thursday Night Football:

Rapid Fire: Cam Newton +18.5 Passing Yards vs. Jameis Winston; Chris Godwin +18.5 Receiving Yards vs. Mike Evans.

Also be sure to check out Gran Neiffer’s favorite Monkey Knife Fight plays in his Thursday Night Football video breakdown.

Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images

About the Author

  • Matt Schmitto (schmitto)

  • Matt Schmitto is the sports betting editor for RotoGrinders. He grew up in Texas, graduating from Texas Tech University. He has played high stakes DFS since 2013, and enjoys betting on golf, basketball, football and whatever else is put in front of him. Schmitto is an advocate of The Bettor’s Oath.

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