Real football is just eight days away and we couldn’t be more excited. This year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open their season at home against the division rival Carolina Panthers.
Last year the Bucs got off to a woeful 0-8 start that made it clear major changes had to be made. So in the offseason the team underwent a major overhaul. There’s a new head coach in Lovie Smith, a new starting quarterback in Josh McCown, a great new pass rusher in Clinton McDonald, and more reasons to be bullish about the Bucs than you can shake a stick at.
Meanwhile the Carolina Panthers regressed this offseason after a breakout 2013 campaign. Quarterback Cam Newton saw all of his wide receivers leave via free agency and he only recently returned to the field after an ankle injury. Now he’s deal with a sore rib to boot.
So what are the oddsmakers saying about this one? According to Vegas Insider, it’s almost too close too call:
As you can see, the line has been slowly moving in Tampa Bay’s direction for several months and now they’re one point favorites.
In my humble opinion that’s too conservative an estimate. Carolina has a stellar defense, but their offense does not look close to ready to begin the regular season. I think the Bucs should be at least at -2.5. Better get in on that line before the oddsmakers come to their senses.