Tom Brady throwing a pass

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open Week 2 of the NFL season as 8-point home favorites against the Carolina Panthers. Photo by: @pref (Twitter).

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers open as eight-point home favorites over the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of the NFL season
  • Carolina is 5-2 straight up in its last seven trips to Tampa Bay
  • The Panthers are 5-1 against the spread in their last seven road games against the Buccaneers

The Tom Brady era with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t debut as auspiciously as his first start with the New England Patriots. Brady and the Bucs lost 34-23 on the road against the New Orleans Saints.

Nonetheless, the oddsmakers are solidly in Brady’s corner in Week 2 as the Bucs play host to the Carolina Panthers. Tampa Bay is opening as the eight-point favorites over their NFC South Division rivals in the Panthers vs Buccaneers odds.

Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total at DraftKings
Carolina Panthers +310 +8 (-110) O 48.5 (-110)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -400 -8 (-110) U 48.5 (-110)

Odds taken Sept. 13th

Brady beat the Indianapolis Colts 44-13 in his first Patriots start on Sept. 30, 2001.

Brady Beatdown

Maybe opening up against the reigning NFC South champion Saints wasn’t such a good idea.

For much of his first Tampa Bay start, Brady looked like a 43-year-old quarterback. He threw a pair of interceptions. One was returned for a touchdown, his third pick six in as many games.

Brady did throw for two TDs and ran for a third. He was 23-of-36 for 239 yards, for a 78.4 passer rating.

It would be wrong to hang this defeat completely on Brady’s shoulders, though. Tampa Bay also fumbled a kickoff and had a field goal blocked.

Panthers Also Struggle

Carolina was debuting a new QB as well and Teddy Bridgewater was just as successful as Brady. The Panthers lost 34-30 to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Bridgewater was 22-of-30 through the air for 270 yards. His performance was highlighted by a 75-yard TD strike to Robby Anderson. He didn’t turn the ball over.

All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey produced 134 yards from scrimmage and a TD.

The Panthers defense clearly isn’t on par with the Saints bunch that tormented Brady on Sunday. Carolina failed to register a single quarterback hit and recorded a solitary tackle for loss. The Raiders scored on six of their nine possessions. That total included four TDs.

Reinventing Who They Are

Both the Bucs and Panthers seek to leave their recent past in the rear-view mirror but Week 1 showed both teams have plenty of work to do in order to achieve that objective. But all that matters this week is which team is making greater strides.

Carolina lost to the Raiders at home. The Panthers are 0-9 straight up in their last nine games and 0-5 SU in their last five road games.

On the other hand, Carolina is 10-4 SU in its last 14 meetings with Tampa Bay. Perhaps what matters most is that the Panthers are 5-2 SU in their last seven road games against the Buccaneers and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games at Tampa Bay.

Bucs Stop Short

Tampa Bay hasn’t beaten the Panthers by more than seven points in a game since 2010. In the Buccaneers’ last six wins over the Panthers, the average margin of victory is 4.83 points.

The Bucs are 1-5 ATS in their last six games when facing an opponent from the NFC South.

As a starting QB, Brady has never launched an NFL season 0-2. Tampa Bay lost in Week 1 to a much better team than the one that beat the Panthers. The Buccaneers will win this game.

However, everything points to this line shortening in favor of the Panthers. If you’re thinking of playing a spread wager on this game, grab Carolina now at eight points before that happens.

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