[8:30 PM] Buccaneers @ Panthers

Who will WIN this matchup?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)

@ Carolina Panthers (1-3)


Current odds:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (+200)

Carolina Panthers: (-240)


ESPN simulations have Tampa Bay as XX% favorites to cover the spread.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Carolina to win as (XX) favorites.

The murky playing status of quarterback Cam Newton is the overriding story in what is shaping up as an early-season elimination game between the Carolina Panthers and the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night. Newton, who guided Carolina to the Super Bowl last season, has not practiced all week due to a concussion sustained in last week’s loss to Atlanta. He will not play tonight.

Tampa Bay was held to seven points for the second time in three games in last week’s 27-7 home loss to Denver as quarterback Jameis Winston continues to struggle in his second season. Winston has thrown as many interceptions (eight) as touchdown passes — seven coming in the past three weeks — and has absorbed a league-high 39 hits, although coach Dirk Koetter said playing from behind has left his quarterback more vulnerable. Wideout Mike Evans has 26 receptions and three touchdowns in three games, but running backs Doug Martin (hamstring) and Charles Sims (knee) will both miss Monday’s game with injuries. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is also a question mark due to a calf injury.

Carolina has issues on both sides of the ball, scoring only 10 points in a Week 3 home loss to Minnesota before its defense was shredded for 48 points in last week’s drubbing at Atlanta. Anderson was 17 of 23 for 172 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a game-clinching pick-six, in relief of Newton last week.  Carolina had one of the league’s stingiest defenses in 2015, but it was carved up for 503 passing yards by the Falcons.

Anderson made two starts in place of Newton in 2014 and beat the Buccaneers twice, throwing for three TDs and zero interceptions.

Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson had 10 catches for 147 yards and a score the last time he faced Carolina.

Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin has 14 receptions for 196 yards and a TD in two matchups against Tampa Bay.

StreakSmarts Pick: Carolina Panthers  

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick