One of my favorite times to hit up the sportsbooks is when Monday Night Football rolls around. There’s just something so relaxing about finishing work on the first day of the week and knowing that you have a legitimate excuse to go knock down a few cold ones – all the while making a few bucks on the sport you love. Yes, there’s no denying that there’s something magical about Monday Night Football and the social opportunities/drinking excuses that it provides for NFL fans. In Week 5, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers will be stepping up to the plate and providing this week’s excuses for fans across the nation. Neither team has been exceptional this season, so let’s check the odds to see which line has the best options for your bet on NFL’s Monday Night Football.
Week 5 – Monday the 10th of October
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6 (-115) 46 (-110) +210
Carolina Panthers -6 (-105) 46 (-110) -260
Despite the fact that both the Panthers and the Buccaneers are coming into this contest with a 1-3 record, the sportsbooks are still deciding to favor the Panthers. Most fans would agree that Cam Newton should be more than enough for the Panthers to beat the Bucs, but Newton actually sustained a concussion in Carolina’s 48-33 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. On Thursday, Newton missed practice with the squad so in all likelihood Derek Anderson will be lining up under center for the Panthers. Anderson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2005 NFL Draft and has spent 12 years in the NFL, mostly serving as a backup. Anderson has a career passer rating of 71.6 and has been known for playing mediocre football at best. Just like in 2015, offense is the strength of this football team and that offense revolves around Cam Newton. With Newton out, the Bucs could have a legitimate chance of outscoring the Panthers this Monday night.
The Bucs chose Jameis Winston with their first pick of last year’s draft and have decided to run with him as their starting quarterback since. In his rookie year, Winston led the Bucs to a 6-10 record and so far this season, it doesn’t seem he’s going to be finishing above .500. With Winston under center the Bucs are ranking 25th in the NFL for points, 22nd for total offense, 14th for passing offense, and 25th for rushing offense. The running game cannot be blamed on Winston, but for the passing game, who else are you going to blame but the quarterback. The Panthers offense ranks near the top of the league, but without Newton it’s uncertain how their squad will perform. Tampa Bay’s total defense ranks 15th in the NFL, yet somehow their opponents have gained an average of 32 points per game, the 31st worst average in the entire league. It won’t matter who the Panthers have under center because they are bound to score points against Tampa Bay. With that in mind fans can begin to see why the sportsbooks are favoring the Bucs in Week 5’s Monday Night Football action.