Week Sixteen Tampa Bay Bucs at Carolina Panthers
Vegas Spread: Panthers (-3)
Home field advantage for the Panthers according to Vegas, is worth 5.5 points. On Christmas Eve the Panthers are three-point favorites at home during one of the most important weeks of the season. A grind it out game will potentially make or break the Bucs playoff chances. If the Panthers bounce back like they did in 2015 this game could be easily in the Panthers favor.
The Bucs are a different team this year than they were in the past. This is a team that improves, and more importantly, matures, with each passing day and game. Don’t expect letdowns from this current crop of Bucs. This game could be make or break for many players on both sides and possibly head coach Ron Rivera. There is no guarantee that he survives a second bad season. If the team doesn’t rebound, Rivera could very well be on the hot seat.
The game could likely come down to the wire. I think it will be a little closer, like week 17 last season. The season might even come down to a Roberto Aguayo field goal attempt. Unless, of course, Nick Folk beats him out for the kicking job. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Carolina keeps the slight edge because of the home field advantage factor.