The Carolina Panthers versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers rivalry is one of the most recent (dating from 1995), but it is also one of the most intense and even as well. This Thursday 24th they will meet for the first time this season at a point where Tampa Bay badly needs a victory but is not very likely to get one, at least as far as online sportsbooks go, which are favoring Carolina with a -6 point spread. The Bucs are 0-6, and since Josh Freeman is already long gone, one has to wonder who head coach Greg Schiano is blaming now, unless he´s chanting mea culpa. Or he may cite the training camp MRSA outbreak and get Raymond James Stadium closed down. That might save the Buccaneers further embarrassment.
The Panthers, on the other hand, are 3-3 after two wins in a row against the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Rams. Before that they had beaten the New York Giants. That comes to show that they have no qualms about kicking teams that are down, and if that is indeed so, online sportsbooks may be right in anticipating Carolina´s third consecutive victory. Tampa Bay is not unaccustomed to underwhelming season starts. The last time they went 0-7 was just a few years ago in 2009, a year they finished with a 3-13 record. The following year saw a tremendous 10-6 improvement. So the Bucs at least have hope for 2014.
It´s not like the entire team is a hopeless case, though. There are individual glimpses that show promise. Mike Glennon has been improving since he was appointed starting QB. And Lavonte Davis’ output has unfortunately been outshined by a single mistake against the New York Jets. If only one player could represent the entire offense and another the entire defense, then they might have better online sportsbooks odds. Sadly for Tampa, the rest of the team is dragging things down. Although, this is perhaps what Schiano expects them to do. After all, when he first talked about the ‘Buccaneer Way,’ he didn´t specify whether that way was up or down.