Buccaneers vs. Panthers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 18

Dec 3, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) greats
Dec 3, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) greats / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

All the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to do is beat the worst team in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers, to clinch the NFC South and the right to host a playoff game.

If they don't, the winner of the game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons will steal the division crown from their hands.

If you want to get my best bet for all 16 NFL Week 18 games, check out this week's edition of the "Road to 272 Bets".

In this article, I'm going to break down everything you need to know to bet on this NFC South showdown with the division on the line for the Bucs.

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Buccaneers vs. Panthers odds, spread, and total

Buccaneers vs. Panthers betting trends

  • Buccaneers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games
  • The OVER is 4-2 in the Buccaneers' last six games
  • Buccaneers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games vs Panthers
  • Buccaneers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games
  • Buccaneers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. NFC South opponents
  • The UNDER is 8-2 in the Panthers' last 10 games
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in the Panthers' last seven home games

Buccaneers vs. Panthers injury reports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers injury report

  • Ko Kieft - TE - Questionable
  • Shaquil Barrett - LB - Questionable
  • Carlton Davis III - CB - Questionable
  • Baker Mayfield - QB - Questionable

Carolina Panthers injury report

  • Jonathan Mingo - WR - IR
  • Troy Hill - CB - Questionable
  • Eddy Pineiro - K - Questionable
  • Cade Mays - G - Questionable
  • Marquis Haynes Sr. - LB - Questionable

Buccaneers vs. Panthers how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, January 7
  • Game Time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Venue: Bank of America Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): FOX
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Record: 8-8
  • Carolina Panthers Record: 2-14

Buccaneers vs. Panthers key players to watch

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield: The Buccaneers quarterback is a top candidate to win Comeback Player of the Year but for him to win the award, he likely needs to win this game and take the final step in leading the Buccaneers to an NFC South title. This is a big game for his career and a chance to prove he should remain the team's quarterback in 2024.

Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young: The Panthers rookie quarterback has one more chance to gain some momentum heading into the offseason. He's had a disappointing year, but he has shown flashes of being the guy the Panthers had hoped he'd be.

Buccaneers vs. Panthers prediction and pick

The previous meeting between these two teams resulted in a defensive battle and I expect more of the same in what will be a huge matchup for the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers' defense enters the game ranking ninth in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing just 20.3 points per game. The Panthers' defense, while having struggled at times this season, has improved in the second half of the 2023 campaign. They're 14th in opponent success rate since Week 12.

Then there's the Panthers offense that's averaging a measly 14.8 points per game this season, the second fewest in the league.

With so much on the line for the Bucs, I expect this game to be a low-scoring affair.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!