*10* TOTAL POWER ~ 75% NFL O/U Run!!

*10* TOTAL POWER ~ 75% NFL O/U Run!!

Carolina vs. Tampa Bay, 01/01/2017 13:00 EDT, Score: 16 - 17

Total: -103/+46½ Under

Sportsbook: PinnacleSports

Result: Win

10* Under Panthers/Bucs (1:00 ET): It's all division games in Wk 17 of NFL and thus in every instance we'll have a previous matchup to include in our handicapping. In the case of Carolina-Tampa Bay, a meeting all the way back in Week 5 set the tone for the respective seasons. In what was considered a shocking upset at the time, the Bucs beat the Panthers 17-14 as six-point underdogs on a last second Roberto Aguayo field goal. Since that time Tampa Bay has gone 7-4 SU overall, getting itself onto the very fringes of playoff contention. Meanwhile, it's been "that kind of year" for the defending NFC Champs, who are 6-9 SU and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

Note that Carolina played w/o Cam Newton in that earlier season matchup, which was a Monday night affair. I was on the Under, a really easy winner obviously, and will go back to "the well" despite Newton's presence for the rematch. Most of the focus concerning the Panthers' 2016 decline has been on the defensive side of the ball, the secondary (which lost Josh Norman) in particular. But Newton and the offense really haven't held up their end of the bargain either. Of course, there were plenty of "smoke and mirrors" involved with this group last season when they led the league in scoring, but were actually outside the Top 10 in yards per game. The Over was 12-6-1 LY for Carolina (including playoffs), but this year the team's scoring has declined by more than a touchdown.

Tampa Bay still has a very outside shot at making the playoffs, but an incredible confluence of events would need to take place later in the day for that goal to be achieved. Still, I expect the rapidly improving defense to perform well in a game they'll obviously want to win. Prior to LW, five straight Bucs games had stayed Under the total. They are off road games against Dallas and New Orleans (lost both), but those are two of the top offense in the league. This will be an easier assignment and thus we should see something along the lines of the five-game stretch when they allowed an average of less than 13 PPG. Factor out the two indoor games vs. New Orleans and Atlanta and Carolina has seen only four Overs all season. 10* Under Panthers/Bucs

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